DURHAM, Conn. (WTNH) — As we kick off the new school year many districts across the state are experiencing bus driver shortages, leading to doubled-up bus routes and delayed arrival times.
The shortage is leading to a long parent pick-up line in the parking lot of Middlefield Memorial School at the Regional 13 School District.
“It’s frustrating I’m glad I have a job where I can be a little flexible and do have paid time off. I don’t know how people do it,” said Christine Caminito, a parent whose child attends the middle school.
Six school bus drivers in the district did not come back to work at the start of the new school year, even though they were assigned routes. The DATTCO Vice President says there are a few reasons why.
“A lot of people left the industry over the time of Covid and we simply haven’t been able to bring enough people back into the industry since then it’s been an ongoing struggle for us. To help remedy the bus driver shortage, some routes to had be doubled – creating much longer travel time for students. Some students were almost two hours late getting to school today,” said DATTCO VP, Bryony Chamberlain.
Parents were asked to drop off and pick up their kids to help ease the backlog. Parents are hoping this is only a temporary problem and that it gets fixed soon.
“I can’t really put the blame on anyone because I know there’s a shortage everywhere and I get it, it’s frustrating but it’s hard on us too,” said Caminito.