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Buffalo Public Schools and First Student to address late student drop-offs

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) -- - Many Buffalo parents are demanding answers after their students are being dropped off several hours after they left school. First Student, the bus company that has a contract with Buffalo Public Schools, pins the problem on a bus driver shortage.
While it may be a problem to find drivers to drive these buses. It's becoming another problem to get students home after school on time.
"Last week, Thursday and Friday the buses were about three hours late," said Christopher Finney, who's 4-your-old daughter rides the school bus.
Several Buffalo parents have complained in recent weeks about their children being dropped off hours late.
Christopher Finney's 4-year-old daughter didn't get home until after 7 p.m. She's supposed to be home by 4.
"I was just worried about the other kids, i know they get worried pretty fast when they see it's getting dark out and they're looking for their parents," said Christopher Finney.
It's an issue First Student, the bus company under contract to Buffalo Public Schools, is well aware of.  Both groups are set to meet Wednesday morning to talk about several issues -- including how to prevent late drop-offs.
"With the driver shortage we have which is an industry wide shortage it's been very challenging here for us," said Sean McCabe, Area General Manager for First Student.
First Student says there was some driver turnover this summer, but they're trying hard to recruit new people.
"It's also, you know, a job for a special person, somebody who cares about kids, wants to be around kids, who wants to get up early," said McCabe.
BPS says it is also helping recruit new drivers.
In the meantime, parents are looking for answers.
"I just think they should be more organized when it comes to the kids," said Finney.
First Student says they typically offer bonuses to try to help recruit drivers. A rep for the bus company says they've hired about 88 drivers this school year, but could still use an additional 40 to 50 drivers.
Tomorrow's meeting isn't open to the public, BPS says the goal is to figure out how to move forward.


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