MCSD feels impact of bus driver shortage; students experiencing long delays

(Source: Muscogee County School District)
(Source: Muscogee County School District)
(Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM)
(Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM)
(Source: Parker Branton/WTVM)
(Source: Parker Branton/WTVM)

MUSCOGEE COUNTY, GA (WTVM) - Parents in Muscogee County are voicing their concerns about school bus pick-up and deliveries that have been unusually tardy.

Some student reporting over an hour wait time for their morning buses to arrive.

"My child had to wait until almost 10 a.m. for their morning bus to arrive," said a WTVM Facebook viewer.

The Muscogee County School District says a bus driver shortage is the cause for delays.

The shortage reportedly began in August following several resignations and delays by county bus drivers.

Director of transportation, Herbert Hill, says this is not only a problem within the district but all over the country.

"We are actually hiring one or two a month, but for every one or two we hire, we are losing four, and it's not just a problem for Muscogee County, it's a nationwide problem," said Hill.

Hill says the district has only about 60 percent of the bus drivers needed to be fully staffed.

Drivers are required to pick up extra routes, and students to compensate for low staffing.

"Right now we don't have the notification process to notify parents, hey, this bus may be some many minutes, we just send the bus out and hope that it gets the kids," said Hill.

Issues of low pay and student disciplinary issues among two of the reasons bus drivers believe the shortage is at its worst.

The District is asking parents to be aware of the issue and also understanding as they work through this 'inconvenient' and 'untimely' shortage.

"I'm taking a look at different school districts and methods that they use, but it's always a challenging problem," said Hill.

Parents who are having constant issues with late buses are asked to contact the MCSD transportation dispatch office at 706-748-2876.

Anyone interested in a part-time job with benefits is asked to contact the Transportation Department at 706-748-2876 or apply online.

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