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Critical shortage of bus drivers

6/1/2022 -- Parkway continues to face a critical shortage of bus drivers. Based on the number of students riding the bus this year, we are short 13 drivers – this is about 30 bus routes impacting roughly 1,000 students. 

Recently, we convened a Transportation Task Force made up of parents, staff and school leaders to problem-solve the existing bus driver shortage. We expect a more severe shortage of drivers in the fall.

This is what we heard:

  • There was substantial support for increasing bus driver compensation 
  • Overwhelmingly, parents and staff did not support adding bus tiers or changing start times
  • Parents do not support increasing the number of students to three to a seat
  • There is general support for expanding walk zones when it is safe and decreasing the number of bus stops

Based on feedback, the Transportation Task Force recommendations are:

  • Increase compensation and adjust salary scales for bus drivers (as a result, the board approved a pay increase for bus drivers in May)
  • Expanding neighborhood walk zones from the current practice of .5 miles to a 1-mile walk zone. Neighborhood walk zones are areas with sidewalks that do not require students to cross a major street. No bus service would be provided within neighborhood 1-mile walk zones.
  • Decrease the number of bus stops which allows for more routes to be run by the same driver
  • Continue aggressive summer recruitment communication plan
  • Encourage parents to drive students if able and complete a survey stating their intent to ride
  • Neighborhood walker family support groups
  • Outsource alternative transportation 
  • Put additional students on a bus when feasible

The Board of Education will review the task force recommendations at the June 15 meeting.