Ongoing bus driver shortage causing issues for Buffalo Public Schools


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–Buffalo Public Schools has a problem and it’s not a new one. A nationwide shortage of bus drivers is leading to headaches early and often this school year.

Just as tensions boiled over last year, frustrations are high again and local parents and even school administrators are demanding something be done.

Sam Radford, of the Buffalo District Parents Coordinating Council, might as well add the word “again” to that statement.

Another school year, another series of problems with transportation in Buffalo Public Schools.

“We don’t want to wait until after something terrible happens to a child by having the district respond and say, Ok, now it’s time to do something,” Radford said.

On Thursday, Radford, local parents and school administrators aired their complaints and demanded action.

They detailed children arriving home or to school hours late, students being dropped off at the wrong address, and poor communication and empty promises by the district’s bus contractor, First Student.

John Raczynski is an assistant principal at the Buffalo Academy of Science Charter School.

He says buses have arrived as much as two and a half hours into an already tight school day.

Raczynski added, “It creates a safety issue for the students. It’s terrible to put it on parents that are trying to their best job and do the best for their families.”

First Student is responsible for 29,500 students every day — which translates to about morning and afternoon 600 routes, about 1% — or half a dozen — of which are missed.

Representatives tell News 4 this year, the problem’s grown worse, mostly in part to fewer people looking for jobs.

Recruiting efforts are in full swing. Drivers are being shipped in from other areas to help cover routes. In the meantime, Radford is asking for parents to contact him for a possible lawsuit.

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