FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Fort Wayne Community Schools may cancel certain bus routes due to an ongoing shortage of bus drivers, the district said in a letter to parents. In the letter posted by the office of Superintendent Mark Daniel, it was noted that more drivers have been hired but it will take time to ensure they’re fully equipped to transport students.
In order to avoid closing schools, the district will move to a system where it will cancel bus routes on days when there aren’t enough drivers, the letter said.
The letter noted this is a practice used by other nearby school districts.
You can see the letter, which includes the process the district will follow and how it will notify parents, below:
WANE 15 spoke with Krista Stockman on Tuesday. Stockman is the FWCS Director of Communications and Marketing.
Stockman said this decision came from recently having to close two schools for a day due to driver shortages. District officials looked at that and decided to find a better solution.
She added that the new drivers hired will provide a cushion once they are cleared for pickups and drop-offs, but won’t completely solve the shortage issue.
“I think it will alleviate it to some degree. It’s still not going to solve all the issues. We haven’t hired enough to be fully comfortable with our staffing, but, again, this happened a couple of weeks ago. We haven’t had to cancel any routes since that day,” Stockman explained.
She also said the district understands this may be frustrating for parents.
“Yeah, I mean we completely understand that frustration, but we would advise parents that on any given day we could have a delay or a closure because of weather. So, they should always have those backup plans in place,” she said.
Stockman credited the district’s transportation department for constantly shuffling things as they’ve worked to get kids to and from school.
WANE 15 has requested an interview with the Director of Transportation, Renee Dawson, about the driver shortage a handful of times this school year, but she has not been made available.