Bus tracker shows hundreds of Alachua County School buses were late or no-shows this month

Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 6:49 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Late school buses have turned into no-show school buses for many students across the Alachua County School District.

“About two weeks into the school year the bus driver quit, and then the bus just quit coming most of the time,” said Leonard Carter, Alachua County Public Schools parent.

Leonard and Haley Carter of Micanopy aren’t the only parents feeling the effects of a bus driver shortage.

“We need 151 bus drivers, right now we have 107 bus drivers,” said Darin Jones, Director of Transportation for Alachua County School District.

That means the school district is 44 bus drivers short, and many families are hurting because of it.

“I get paid by the hour,” said Haley Carter. “When I have to go get the kids that’s time that I miss off work. I can’t recover that time.”

According to the “Late Bus Alerts” page on the school district’s website, the late bus calendar shows 150 school buses were 90 minutes late or more to their stops, so far in the month of October.

One man said his nephew lives in Newberry, but because of this, he now goes to school in Gainesville.

“My nephew can’t get picked up because his bus driver don’t wanna take a ride way out there,” said Tyrell Thomas. “It’s frustrating at the time because it’s a lot of money coming out. Gas prices went up.”

Director of Transportation Darin Jones said “tomorrow I’m meeting with the superintendent and we’re going go over ways we can solve these issues and come up with solutions.”

He said school district officials raised the pay for bus drivers by $2.52 an hour in the past year, but for those impacted, that raise is not keeping the wheels on the bus moving round and round.

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