PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Public School District is short hundreds of bus drivers, but a new agreement with a local transportation company means students who didn’t have transportation to school, now do.
On Wednesday, the school board approved a deal between the district and the Pittsburgh Transportation Group.
That group will provide three, 30-passenger buses each weekday for in-person instruction. This will be from May 10 through June 11. The total payment in the agreement is $37,500.
“We are happy to say that we found another way to try to reduce the seat gap for the rest of this year,” said Michael McNamara, the Pittsburgh Public School District interim chief operations officer.
“We’ll notify the school of who can get on these routes,” said McNamara. “The school has access to all of the other students who are in the seat gap, and they can reach out to the families.”
The district says the transportation will be provided to students in at least six schools that are in the “seat gap” and currently do not have transportation.
KDKA has covered the driver shortage in the district extensively. They told us earlier in the week due to the pandemic, drivers were either leaving or getting sick. This just added to the driver shortage that was already in place.
With the agreement beginning May 10, students returning May 3 may have to find another transportation option for that one week.
“The option for Port Authority is also still available for all the families,” said McNamara.
If students can’t make it to school in person that week, they say there is a special code that notifies teachers that students are still learning from home.
The district will be sending letters and calling parents about the changes over these next few days.