PASCO COUNTY, Fla (WFLA) – Pasco County Schools is experiencing a large shortage of bus drivers as they begin a new school year, causing some students to see bus route delays. Right now, the school district needs 111 bus drivers, a combination of relief drivers and regular route drivers.
Some students in Pasco County experienced late buses on the first day of school Tuesday, something the school district officials said this was normal.
“The majority of them were that 30 to 45 minutes, that kind of late. We do have some that were outliers that we are investigating right now because we want to make sure we address those as quickly as we can,” said Assistant Superintendent, Betsy Kuhn.
Kuhn tells 8 On Your Side the delays were seen in the central Pasco County, with some of the issues being attributed to an increase in traffic.
That’s not the only reason buses were late.
“It’s not just isolated to those areas where there is a lot of traffic, some places had issues because we are short-staffed,” added Kuhn.
Right now, there are nearly 80 bus routes that are unassigned because of the driver shortage. The school district is doing everything it can to make sure the routes get covered.
“Having 78 routes that have students assigned to them and no bus driver means that what we have to do is split up routes and do double runs at schools,” said Kuhn.
Pasco County Schools is actively seeking both full and part-time bus drivers.
The school district also has a transportation call center, where parents can call with questions through Aug. 13, 2021.
The transportation call-center operation times are from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 2 p.m to 6 p.m.
Numbers to call: