Albemarle County Public Schools preparing for students’ return as bus driver shortage persists

Albemarle County Public Schools says it’ll soon be notifying families about bus services, just as we’re a few weeks away until students go back to classrooms.
Published: Aug. 7, 2023 at 4:03 PM EDT

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Albemarle County Public Schools says it’ll soon be notifying families about bus services, just as we’re a few weeks away until students go back to classrooms.

More than 900 county students will not be riding the bus due to the lack of drivers.

“There are about 12 routes that don’t have a bus driver,” ACPS Spokesperson Phil Giaramita said Monday, August 7.

Giaramita says the county sent out a survey in June asking families about their bus service needs. He says the county usually transports about 6,000 students, but this year the number of requests for service went up to 10,000.

More students need rides, but with less bus drivers available.

Drivers made two runs to get students to school last year, but not always on time.

“It just is not an option for kids to continue to arrive an hour or two hours late,” Giaramita said. “We’ve consolidated most private roads. So now instead of 12 bus stops, maybe there’s two or three.”

The county is also going to be enforcing rules that could result in students losing their riding privileges.

“If there are kids on the manifest who don’t show up for 10 days or longer, then we’ll notify those families that they’re taken off the list. They’re put on a wait list, and they have to reapply again for service,” Giaramita said.

The county has also expanded walk zones for students.

Families will be notified Friday through the parent portal to find the best bus schedule for them.

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