Bus schedule issues cause delays

Students struggle to plan around transportation inconvenience

Bus schedule issues cause delays

Christopher Denkovich, Managing Editor

The schedules of most high school students are crammed and packed with school, extracurriculars, sports and even after-school jobs. This leaves almost no room for random surprises and delays. For example, when a student has to have an important project turned in by the start of school, they may need to turn it in late due to their bus showing up either late or not at all. The most crucial part of compulsory education is getting students into the building. Students who don’t have a ride to and from school rely on transportation provided by the school. They have to put their trust and faith into the fact that the buses will abide by their set schedule to ensure they can get where they need to go when they need to be there.

“There are tons of issues with being late to school,” sophomore Johnathan Hein said. “It’s hard to deal with the embarrassment when you go to class late and everyone else is already there. You also have to shift your mind off of the late bus and try to get refocused on the school day at hand.”

The district first started to notice issues with transportation after construction in New Sewickley Township last year. The issue this year, however, is much more frequent and not something that has a definite end date like construction. This year, Director of Transportation Ms. Erin Bluedorn says the issues are due to an insufficient supply of bus drivers.

“I think that this year has probably been a little more difficult than last year. Some students have been picked up late and others have not been picked up at all,” Bluedorn said.

Aside from a lack of bus drivers, issues can also occur with individual routes.

“Sometimes a driver has to call off and the substitute is unfamiliar with the route. There can also be confusion with unclear house numbers that lead to students getting dropped off at not exactly the right place,” Bluedorn said. “I try to talk to them every day. They are currently in the process of trying to hire and train new bus drivers.” 

With the district almost powerless as far as being able to solve the lack of bus drivers, one thing they can do is look at different bussing contractors. 

“We have looked into alternative transportation. We have approved some drivers from Fry Transportation. They are not driving district buses but some of our vans for special education students,” Bluedorn said. “While it’s not much, it’s something we have done to help free up a couple of drivers.”

With a national bus driver shortage striking the nation, all the district can do is have patience and try their best to hold out hope that the issue is resolved quickly.