PPS Announces Bus Route Cancellation Plan
In an email sent to parents on January 14th, Portland Public Schools Superintendent Will Heath announced that the district will be canceling select routes on limited days starting January 19th due to transportation staffing concerns.
Heath said, “In a previous email I had mentioned that we are struggling to find school bus drivers. Unfortunately our transportation staffing situation is getting worse and not better. The district needs, at a minimum, 15 bus drivers every day to complete our routes. We are currently down 6 drivers. This entire year we have been utilizing substitutes from other districts and PPS staff who are licensed to drive buses to fill vacancies. Even with these efforts we will have 3 vacancies starting Tuesday, January 19th. Because of those vacancies we need to cancel three routes per day. We will do so on a rotation so that parents will only need to find transportation for their child one day per week.”
Heath added, “Our plan is to do this for two weeks and then reassess for the next two weeks. Our hope is that we will get a few drivers back from sick leave and also acquire some new drivers. The plan for the next two weeks is below. The Bus route and its corresponding bus number that are being canceled on that date are listed.”
Heath went on to say, “I am really sorry for the significant inconvenience this will have on families. We have worked through numerous scenarios and plans and this is the only one that will work for our current situation. This year has been difficult in all aspects. Transportation is going to continue to be a problem throughout the rest of the year as this current plan does not take into account any additional staff absences. We have great drivers and staff at the bus garage and they would love nothing more than to transport all of our students to school every day. Please know that as soon as we can resume normal operations we will do so.”
METS is currently hiring drivers for the district. For more information you can call METS at 888-996-8586.