School Bus Driver Shortage Causing Nightmares in Hudson Valley
If you have kids that are still in school and they take the school bus too, and from everyday, you might be noticing that things have gotten a little crazy when it comes to the timing of pick-up and drop-off.
A bunch of schools across the Hudson Valley have confirmed that they are dealing with a major shortage of school bus drivers and the shortage is to blame for most of the confusion. Schools like Newburgh, Pine Bush and Kingston to name a few have confirmed on social media that the driver shortage has caused each district to make adjustments.
Things got so bad in the Pine Bush Central School District, that the school decided to close for the day (Friday 9/10) due to not having enough drivers to cover all of the scheduled bus routes. Some districts are once again asking parents to carpool in order to get their kids to school, with one school district providing an explanation on Facebook.
Attempting to address the shortage and explaining what steps are being taken to get children into school, The Kingston City School District said, "Several bus stops have been combined or moved to ensure student and bus driver safety, as well as quicker pick-ups and drop-offs. All bus drivers run more than one route each day. Bus stop locations cannot remain as they had in the past."
KCSD also said, "School districts across the state and country are experiencing a shortage of bus drivers as we begin this new school year. The Kingston City School District contracts with local bus companies for buses and drivers – we do not own buses; we do not employ bus drivers."
Parents in the Wappingers Central School District are reporting that the pick-up and drop-off times on the first day of school were all over the place. For me with kids riding the buses in the Wappingers district, I spent 25 minutes waiting at the bus stop for my kids to be picked up, and 30 plus minutes to be dropped off. Thankfully they finally got to school, late, but they got there. Another parent told us that, "My daughter didn’t get off the bus until after 4:30 p.m. yesterday. 45 mins late."
With the shortage some parents are also worried that with fewer buses running, that means more kids on less buses. The Kingston School District addressed that concern saying that guidelines are in place for children to be safely transported to and from school.
New York State Guidelines for Transportation
Masks must be worn at all times. Masks will be available on buses for students without them
One student per seat, when possible
Maintain current loading procedures
All bus windows and hatches will be open
Siblings and same household students will share seating
If bus scheduling has become an issues in your school district, let us know and we'll do what we can to get any helpful information for you. The Kingston School District did provide an email address for parents with questions and or concerns, firstname.lastname@example.org