STREETSBORO, Ohio — This week school districts in Northeast Ohio are trying to get back on track after dealing with a surge in bus driver shortages.
On Monday the Ashtabula Area City Schools canceled all bus transportation due to the shortage. The district said the cancellation was due to "excessive absence in the transportation department." So far, no cancellations have been announced for Tuesday.
Wooster City Schools is also dealing with the shortage.
"I think our school has been hit pretty hard by it, but I don't think there's anybody that's been immune to that inNortheast Ohio right now," said Superintendent Gabe Tutor.
The district announced delays would impact 12 routes for Tuesday morning:
- Bus #4 HS & EW will be approx 30 minutes late AM
- Bus #6 HS & EW will be approx 15 minutes late AM
- Bus #18 HS & EW will be approx 30 minutes late AM
- Bus #37 HS & EW will be approx 30 minutes late AM
- Bus #17 HS & EW will be approx 15 minutes late AM
- Bus #35 Kean will be approx 20 minutes late AM
- Bus #6 Melrose will be approx 20 minutes late AM
- Bus #18 Elementary will be approx 20 minutes late AM
- Bus #4 Parkview will be approx 20 minutes late AM
- Bus #17 Parkview will be approx 15 minutes late AM
- Bus #37 Kean will be approx 45 minutes late AM
- Bus #20 Kean will be approx 30 minutes late AM
"So any time we have absences for illness, injury... it leads to what you see this morning, where we have to really work together to double up routes as what we normally do in that situation," said Tutor.
Tutor said the district is hiring bus drivers and would offer free training to those interested.
"We're willing to train drivers at no cost to them. It is a process because obviously driving a school bus is a challenging job. and so it requires CDL license and things like that. But we will do all the training and the paperwork."
Streetsboro City Schools were also hit hard by the shortage. On Tuesday, the route for Bus #4 will be canceled. In an update posted online, the district said they hope to resume normal scheduling on Wednesday.
This shortage is something the National School Transportation Association predicted in August. In a survey across the country they found three out of four school districts having to alter transportation services and more than half listing their driver shortage as severe or desperate.