RCSD asks for patience amid bus driver shortage

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — As many students head back to school Wednesday, schools statewide are facing a bus driver shortage. The Rochester City School District took to social media warning its buses are filled to capacity.

The first day of school for more than 22,000 kids in Rochester is Wednesday, and some parents have concerns about transportation. The city school district says there is no need for parents to worry — that every student who needs to get picked up will — but the district is asking for patience as they sort through transportation planning.

The district posted a message on Facebook and X (the former Twitter), saying “we have maximized the capacity on our buses. If your child no longer needs transportation, please inform your school. Patience is key …”

“We are experiencing the same shortages that the rest of the country is experiencing,” said Marisol Ramos-Lopez, the district’s communications chief.

She says all students who need to get picked up will get picked up. But the number of drivers will fluctuate.

“So there are days where we will have 100% drivers in for the morning route. There can be an emergency — someone can get ill –that can change the number of drivers we have for the afternoon run,” Ramos-Lopez said.

There was a shortage last year and the year before that.

Marsha Augustin: “The situation seems like it has gotten worse?”

Marisol Ramos-Lopez: “Yes, it has, so what we have to do is make do with what we have to make sure we are serving our students.”

So what is the district doing to fix the transportation issue? Ramos-Lopez says they’ve increased the bus capacity to 60% from 45%. Which means …

“There will be more students on buses. That means our buses will come in maybe a little later than normal; they are going to drop off students a little later than normal — so we are asking parents for patience,” Ramos-Lopez said.

The first day of school is Wednesday, and the district’s communications chief says timing is the only concern they have. But students will be picked up and dropped off. If parents have any concerns, she says they should call their child’s school.