PITTSBURGH, PA (KDKA) – It’s a challenge that doesn’t seem to have a perfect solution.
“We do appreciate and understand the frustration, but we appreciate the flexibility of our families, but we are going to keep working until we’ve exhausted all options of getting our students back in the classroom,” said Minika Jenkins who’s the Chief Academic Officer at PPS.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Public Schools Faces Transportation Challenges
One week later and Pittsburgh Public Schools’ transportation issues aren’t improving. The seat gap is now up to 1,300. That’s 1,300 students each day who do not have a way to school but need one come May 3.
“We had about 1,125 surveys that we did not have yet and now parents have completed it. We’ve been working really hard to get families to complete the survey to let us know if they need transportation than we have families who want to bring their kids back and that’s where the increase is happening,” Jenkins said.
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 help fill some holes.
“We will be able to provide some families with relief by providing them port authority connect tickets to help provide them the transportation service,” said Megan Patton, the PPS Transportation Director.
The only true perfect solution is 200 more bus drivers. While that is unlikely in a matter of days, how do these parents know if their child falls in the gap?
“We will be notifying the families if they currently do not have transportation or are in the gap for May 3rd, we plan to notify them by mail by the end of next week,” Patton said.
The district said right now it is hoping for those numbers not to grow because there are no additional resources to add.