As bus driver shortage continues, Buffalo schools propose bringing in National Guard

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The bus driver shortage has led to a chaotic start of the school year for Buffalo Public Schools.

According to Superintendent Kriner Cash, the district lost 150 drivers going into this year, and as a result, has to cut back on more than 100 routes.

“We then have to cover for those routes by taking the children to school with the drivers that come and then go back and pick up the children that are waiting,” Cash said.

This has caused hour-long delays for some students. For others, they weren’t picked up at all. One mother told News 4 her son’s bus driver stopped showing up after two days.

District officials are now looking at what other states are doing to solve this national issue. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has deployed the National Guard to drive students to and from school – an option Cash presented to the board at their meeting Wednesday night.

“They can drive buses, they have 70 licenses,” Cash said. ” So we can talk to Governor Hochul and say ‘we have a challenge here. If you can get us, 50 good drivers, that would begin to solve the issue very quickly.'”

Cash said he’s also heard of some states paying parents to drive their children to school, but ultimately he does not think that was the best solution.

He also told board members there are currently more than 200 applicants looking to be bus drivers for the district.

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