Transportation Update: August 19, 2022
The Transportation team would like to thank all of our students and parents for their support and understanding these first couple of weeks of the new school year. We have seen a huge growth in our ridership numbers compared to last year. We would also like to provide you all with an important transportation update.
We are aware of the bus delays some of you are experiencing, specifically in the afternoons with our high school and elementary school students. We are working diligently to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. Here is what’s causing some of the delays.
First, the bus driver shortage is real and painful for everyone. We are not just facing the shortage but accommodating other forms of absentees such as Sick Leave and Family and Medical Leaves of Absence (FMLA). Everyone in our Transportation Department, including office staff and supervisors with a Commercial Driver's License, is driving a bus route. We have increased bus driver salaries and are advertising continuously as possible, but our district, like many across the nation, is short on driver resources. The obvious way to ease our challenges is to put more buses on the road. But without more drivers, we cannot add more bus routes to our schools logistically. This makes the current situation that much more difficult to solve.
Second, each bus makes three runs each in the morning and afternoon. We transport our middle school students first, the high schools, and finally, the elementary schools. If there is a delay with the first middle school route, it impacts the high school route and then the elementary route. This "stacking" of delays has been higher than expected because of longer bus runs to accommodate the shortage of drivers and long parent pick-up lines. We are working with our schools daily at each level to remedy these issues.
Lastly, parents, it is vital that your child is utilizing their assigned bus stop and not the one you deem the best fit for your situation. When you send your child to an undesignated bus stop, it creates “overloads” on our routes. We route buses and plan for each student in the area. Not following the route assignment significantly disrupts the student-to-driver ratio and makes what many refer to as an "Overloaded" bus.
Again, we appreciate your time and continued understanding as we work to rectify some of our transportation challenges. Our goal is to over-communicate with our community in the form of electronic communications, so please be sure that you have the most up-to-date contact information on file.
Flagler Schools Transportation