EVSC students sitting on pick-up waitlist due to bus driver shortage

EVSC students sitting on pick-up waitlist due to bus driver shortage
Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 5:37 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 12, 2021 at 10:38 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Parents of students in Evansville and Vanderburgh County are having trouble getting their kids to school.

Officials with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation say they are experiencing a bus driver shortage, and without bus drivers, there are no bus routes.

EVSC administrators have been forced to make adjustments, but there are still around 300 households sitting on a waitlist.

Christy Lantrip, the mother of several students on the waitlist, say it’s hard to get her kids to school while working full-time.

“I’m a single mom, I don’t have a lot of support,” she explained. “The people that can help me, they can’t drive, or they don’t have a license to get them out there.”

Officials say hiring a bus driver requires hiring someone with a commercial driver’s license, but they’re willing to pay new recruits while they get theirs.

School districts all across the country are struggling to hire this year.

Parents had to register to have their kids added to a route, but that’s about the only action they can take right now.

EVSC officials say they are working to extend routes to do more with less, but parents will have to find their own way until they can hire more.

Chief Communications Officer Jason Woebkenberg says this happened last year, and they are hoping this can be sorted out again.

“Our bus transportation officials continue to look at routing and make adjustments,” Woebkenberg said. “Especially if there’s changes with students with what their preferences, and how they’re getting to school and how they’re getting home. If last year was an indication, then we’re very optimistic that throughout this fall, that wait list will continue to go down.”

Woebkenberg says they are hiring bus drivers as fast as they can.

Those interested can apply online or by calling ahead.

For parents who work and need to drop their kids off a little earlier or pick them up late, the elementary school has an extended care program, but this comes with an extra fee.

The schools also work with some parents to help find them ways to use public transportation.

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