Bus driver shortage leading to student transportation delays in Penn Hills

·2 min read

Dismissal at Penn Hills School District’s middle school is at approximately 3:05 p.m. Busses are expected to begin lining up right at the school’s entrance, but with the district’s bus driver shortage, drivers are arriving later and later.

“We stood there, and stood there, and stood there and waited,” said Chelsea Ramsay, a parent of two elementary students.

Ramsay said she has waited for her fourth and first graders for up to an hour.

“Our bus normally drops off at 3:56 p.m. is what they told us, and we’ve been 20 minutes late, but yesterday was an hour late,” said Ramsay.

In the first few weeks the bus situation got so bad, she adjusted her work schedule to drop her kids off in the morning.

“A lot of parents work and they can’t go wait in line for an hour for their kids to get out of school,” said Ramsay.

On Facebook, parents said they want more consistency in bus schedules and better communication from the district.

“Currently, drivers are doubling back to do another wave, so it delays some students from arriving at school and getting back to their homes,” explained Krise Transportation President Tim Krise.

Krise Transportation is contracted by the district to provide transportation for Penn Hills students, including charter, parochial, and nonpublic students who have demonstrated proof of Penn Hills residency.

Transportation Director Tim Krise said the district needs to hire 10 drivers, which takes time.

“We are very particular about who gets behind the wheel because we want good, safe, quality drivers, and we are in a recruitment phase looking for drivers,” said Krise.

Superintendent Nancy Hines said they are working to fill in the gaps daily — adding marked vans, doubling up on routes and sending robocalls to parents.

“This is foreign to us, it’s new to us, we are working with Krise Transportation to try to communicate the updates as they become available,” said Hines.

Unfortunately, as the district makes hires, parents will have to wait.

“I fear at this time there is no quick fix, this should have been done months ago.”

Krise Transportation is urging interested CDL drivers to apply here or visit their location at 7035 Saltsburg Road, Penn Hills, PA 15235.Qualified drivers can earn between $18 to $20 an hour.

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