It's been a week, and Pittsburgh Public Schools' transportation issues aren't improving; KDKA's Nicole Ford reports.
KYM GABLE: Andy, thank you. Another week goes by and still no clear answers to the transportation gap for Pittsburgh public schools. And the deadline of May 3 is getting closer. In the meantime, Nicole Ford showing us how the district is getting creative to solve its bus driver shortage. Nicole?
NICOLE FORD: Kym, that's right. Less than three weeks before all Pittsburgh public school students return back to the classroom in a hybrid model. But right now, the district says it doesn't have transportation for 1,300 students every day. So what's next? It's a challenge that doesn't seem to have a perfect solution.
MINIKA JENKINS: We do appreciate and understand the frustration, but we appreciate the flexibility and our understanding of our families. But we will continue to work until we have exhausted all options to get students back into the building.
NICOLE FORD: One week later in Pittsburgh public schools, transportation issues aren't improving. The seat gap is now up to 1,300. That's 1,300 students each day that do not have a way to school but need one come May 3.
MINIKA JENKINS: We have several, I want to say about 1,125 surveys that we did not have parents that completed that information, and so we have been working very hard to get families to either complete the survey to let us know if they needed transportation, but then we also have some families that want to bring their kids back. So that is why the increase is happening.
NICOLE FORD: The district is working to make changes. There are 18 schools that won't be impacted, and the district plans to use public transportation to fill some holes.
MEGAN PATTON: That we'll be able to provide some families some relief, providing them with Port Authority Connect tickets to help provide them the transportation service.
NICOLE FORD: But the only true perfect solution is 200 more bus drivers. Well, that is unlikely in a matter of days. How do these parents know if their child falls in that gap?
MEGAN PATTON: So we will be notifying the families if we currently do not have transportation for May 3. They'll be receiving some information. We plan to have in the mail at the end of next week.
NICOLE FORD: The district is hoping that that number doesn't continue to grow because right now they don't have any additional resources to use. Leaders of the district are asking parents to reach out to them on their social platform, Let's Talk, if they can find a way for their child to get to school, their own transportation. Right now, only about 100 families have done that. Reporting live tonight, Nicole Ford, KDKA News.