Rochester School Board holds emergency session after more bus drivers resign

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Rochester School Board held an emergency work session Wednesday afternoon to discuss the district’s transportation crisis.

The meeting started at 1 p.m. and ended just before 3 p.m. Watch the full meeting in the player below. Mobile users can click here.

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RCSD Superintendent Dr. Lesli Myers-Small said three additional bus drivers resigned prior to Wednesday’s meeting. Two are from Monroe Transportation, and one is from First Student. Those are private companies the RCSD contracts with.

The additional nine bus drivers who resigned Tuesday leaves 36 total bus routes without drivers. This impacts 317 students, including 174 students with disabilities, who the district is mandated to prioritize.

The 317 students without transportation accounts for 0.01% of the 31,000 RCSD is responsible to bus.

There are also 584 walkers who will not be bussed to school. Myers-Small says more than 22,000 RCSD students as well as 7,000 to 8,000 charter and private school students who will be bused.

But this plan doesn’t leave room for any more drivers to quit.

This means district leaders will now have to re-assign drivers to those routes, leaving other students without busing. A new agreement reached Tuesday with Regional Transit Services will cover 3,500 more students, but school leaders told News10NBC, it’s not enough.

The New York Association for Pupil Transportation said the driver shortage is nothing new. Click here to see his full interview with Berkeley Brean.

During the ribbon-cutting of the R-Training Center on Wednesday, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren was asked about the district’s handling of this bus driver crisis.

She said it’s complicated.

"I think that everybody’s looking at this and trying to do their best under these circumstances," Warren said. "It’s more complicated than just applying for the job. You want to make sure that all of the is are dotted and ts are crossed because you’re putting a child’s life in someone’s hands."