BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Students across the City of Buffalo were left at the bus stop Monday morning.
"If my kids are going to miss a day of school, I want it to be for a better reason than 'there’s no bus,'" parent Elizabeth Gellman said.
Elizabeth Gellman is the mother of three Buffalo Public School students and said she found out her kids' bus was canceled at the last minute.
"About three minutes before we were about to go down," Gellman said. "There was an alert on the app that says no driver on the run."
First Student transports Buffalo School District students. In a statement it said:
The safety of our student passengers is our top priority. The extreme rise in Omicron cases is affecting all industries, including school bus transportation. We recognize the impact on families and are doing everything possible to cover routes in partnership with the district.
But Gellman said she called the First Student helpline and was offered no solution.
"I don’t have a car, if I didn’t have a family friend who could drive us, I would have to try to scrounge up bus fare for four of us," Gellman said.
Buffalo Board of Education President Louis Petrucci said first student had 40 drivers out because of COVID-related issues:
“Today First Student had 40 drivers out either due to COVID or being tested for COVID. The district also began implementation of the early dismissal schedule to help address transportation issues. As such, we anticipate that there will be delays in returning children home from school today. We are monitoring the situation closely with the goal of ensuring students are transported safely and as timely as possible under the circumstances.”
"If you know you don’t have a driver, tell the parents an hour beforehand so we don’t have to rush," Gellman said. "We count on First Student to transport our children."