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Bus driver shortage worsens, causes bus delays in Quincy

Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 10:22 PM CST
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QUINCY (WGEM) - Quincy Public Schools is looking for a solution to their bus driver shortage. Superintendent Roy Webb said the issue is worsening with delays almost daily.

Webb said they had seven delays alone on Thursday.

Local childcare workers said it’s also impacting the kids and families who depend on their services.

10th Street Children’s Academy Childcare Director Alison Berhorst said they have about 10 kids who rely on Quincy Public Schools buses to get to and from school.

“We’ve had instances where the bus came from the wrong direction or it was a different number,” Berhorst said.

Berhorst said if they don’t get notice of bus delays, or changes, they don’t put the kids on the bus because they don’t want them to end up in the wrong place.

“They missed the bus and they had to miss school and their parents had to take off work to come get their kiddo and take them to school because we don’t provide transportation,” Berhorst said.

She said they’re also short staffed and have to pull teachers from their classroom.

“To make sure that they get on the bus and that’s time that they’re not spending in the classroom providing instruction and care for the kids that are here,” she said.

“Our supervisors are actually rebuilding our routes and our plans almost daily. Just to make sure that we get all our kids taken care of,” Webb said.

Webb said that’s because of the continued bus-driver shortage.

“Our supervisors, or mechanics, a few teachers, there’s a lot of different people that are helping as best they can, but we can’t cover everything, every day, at all times,” Webb said.

He said that is why they are having to to double-up on routes because bus drivers are quitting or retiring, which is causing all the delays, and sometimes, confusion.

So, Berhorst said they’re just trying to have patience, and give grace.

“We understand they’re having staffing issues, we’re having staffing issues as well,” she said.

“So we appreciate that and we also appreciate the community,” Webb said.

Webb said they have a system to notify parents and students of bus delays, but it’s up to parents to relay that information over to their day cares.

He said so far, they haven’t had to cancel any routes and they do not plan on canceling any in the future.

While he said he doesn’t know how long they will be facing this issue, they need to hire 15 drivers to operate efficiently.

You can apply at qps.org.

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