Is there any solution to get more school bus drivers in Buffalo?

Posted at 6:19 PM, Sep 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-20 18:19:35-04

It's safe to say that the bus driver shortage in Buffalo is a big issue.

"I've gotten calls at 7 in the morning, 8 in the morning. I've gotten emails from 20-30 parents at least," Kelly Hall, the transportation chair of the Buffalo District Parenting Coordinating Council, said.

She is one of the go-to people when it comes to the school bus driver issue. It's why she said she is neck deep in complaints from parents. Now, she is trying to do as much as she can to bring more drivers to Buffalo.

"We have brought it up in district meetings, with district officials, (and) the superintendent."

None of that has worked, though. In fact, the schools are forced to continue to message the parents with notifications that the busses will be late.

"Every single day Monday through Friday since school has started," Alissa Polar, a parent of a 4th grade and 6th grade boy, said.

First Student owns and operates all the school busses. Now as a courtesy, First Student and the schools are partnering up to at least notify parents with a message that tells families when the bus is late.

Part of the issue though is that it's difficult to find drivers that can and want to work a split shift. That's why councilman Richard Fontana, suggested to first student that it hire separate morning drivers from its afternoon drivers.

"If you drive a bus in the morning, then you have to drive the bs in the afternoon, and you cant get that first or second shift job. It's a pain. If you can drive in the morning you can still get a second shift job," Fontana said.

It would be a way to ensure to people that they can still pride for their family and be a part-time bus driver.

"Then you can make more money for your family, which is what people want to do," Fontana said.

There is no indication that First Student is going to do this though. As 7 Eyewitness News reported yesterday, the hiring process is difficult and lengthy. So for now, it seems like busses will continue to be late and parents are going to receive mor messages like Polar does every day.




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