Student transportation not keeping up with students
November 26, 2016
With the hectic nature and stress a new school year and schedule brings, a new problem seems to have risen- bus transportation. Currently, OPS is missing around 65 bus drivers from the 500 which are needed.
This problem is taking a toll on students and parents around the district. In the first few weeks of school, TAC (Teacher & Administrative Center) got many complaints and requests for help from students and parents involving late or missing busses. The shortage in drivers is affecting around 3,000 of 18,000 students that use transportation. Students would have to find other ways to school, resulting in late attendance and missing out on needed class time.
“I would wait and wait at the bus stop for my bus and it hasn’t shown up yet. Eventually, I just quit waiting and found another ride to school.” Robbie Moffett, freshmen at Omaha North High said.
Currently, OPS and the contracted carriers have agreed that they are trying to get this problem resolved and have found some temporary fixes. North High has provided a van to help assist with transportation around the district and two of OPS busses have doubled their stops. OPS Special Education bus drivers have picked up on 59 routes and a new contractor has been hired to drive vans and assist with routes.
Students are still arriving 15-20 minutes late to school but are directed to an attendance window and are not counted tardy. Students should communicate with their teachers so they can find extra time to do their missing homework. Teachers are sympathetic and provide extra work time for the students who have missed out on assignments due to transportation.
“We are seeing observable progress.” Gene Haynes , Principal of Omaha North High said.
Officials from the OPS transportation are offering apologies and are trying everything in their power to find a permanent solution to the problem. Student Transport of America is currently working on recruiting and training new drivers for the busses. So far, 60 applicants have gone through the training process. The district and officials are working hard and planning ahead to make sure that this problem doesn’t happen again in the school years to come.