LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A school district here had to cancel some school bus routes three days in a row last week due to a critical bus driver shortage, WDRB reports.
For the 11th time during the 2016-17 school year, Jefferson County Public Schools canceled some bus service, including seven bus routes on Friday, according to the news source. The school bus drivers’ union told WDRB that the district is 50 to 70 drivers short. Additionally, the district told the news source that 220 school bus drivers were absent during the three days when the bus routes were canceled last week.
Jennifer Breslin, a spokesperson for the district, told WDRB that the shortage is part of a national trend of school bus drivers seeking other opportunities in the improving economy. John Stovall, a spokesperson for the drivers’ union Teamsters Local 783, told the news source that drivers deal with a lot of disrespectful behavior and “are fed up.” Breslin added that the district has made changes to better track and address issues that occur on the bus.
The district has taken drivers from alternative school routes to fill in gaps in other routes and has given some students passes to take public transportation. To recruit drivers, the district is using social media, job fairs, and targeted advertising.
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