BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — A regional school bus driver shortage is now affecting two Maryland counties.
Baltimore County Public Schools officials report they are about 50 bus drivers short in the northeast region of the county.
A mother in Baltimore County said her children’s buses have been arriving late for the past two weeks and said she just wants this problem to get resolved so they can get to school on time.
“The bus is either 40 minutes late or more or I’ll get a neighbor to pick her up and I have to pay them to take her to school,” says mother Tracy Evans.
She said her kids and other students in the area have been dealing with the same problem.
“She’s missing time in school and that’s the most important thing…very frustrating,” Evans said.
Brandon Oland with BCPS said there are days when children are picked up later than usual, along with the driver shortage.
“I think all school systems are actively recruiting and hiring school bus drivers. For us, we’d like to hire 50 additional bus drivers. And we’ll continue to try to hire school bus drivers as quickly as we can,” Oland said.
Oland said a contributing factor is that parents are registering their child at the start of the school year, causing officials to have to reroute buses and change pick up times.
However, they aren’t the only county experiencing a school bus driver shortage.
Last week, WJZ reported that Anne Arundel County Public Schools were also suffering from a shortage.
AACPS officials said the district’s contractors, which operate about 90 percent of buses, are faced with a shortage of drivers. The district is short about 20 drivers to start the school year.
“There are a lot of routes that changed in the northeast area. We communicated that to parents before the school year started and we believe long term these changes are going to lead to more consistent service,” Oland said.
He also said he encourages parents to reach out to the district if they have any other busing issues.