The New York School Bus Contractors Association (NYSBC) expressed concerns about how the recent spike of COVID-19 cases may affect the school transportation industry after the holidays.
"While we are already struggling with a national driver shortage and barely managing to service all the required runs with the drivers we currently have, we are concerned that we will not be able to provide the required transportation service if the COVID cases continue to increase and impact our workforce," said the association's executive director, Tammy Mortier, in a news release.
The state's drivers started picking up the pieces after the New York Department of Motor Vehicles was shut down for four months and after enduring 14 months of federal and state-imposed COVID restrictions.
"The spike in COVID has now compounded the situation, which has slowed hiring and placed many on quarantine," Mortier said. "It will be impossible to achieve full-service levels after the holidays if the infection rate climbs even the smallest percent. Alternative routing and modified session times appear to be the best options available to serve as many students as possible under these extreme conditions."