McKeesport Superintendent Dr. Mark Holtzman said his drivers are leaving for the incentives offered by PPS.By Nicole Ford

PITTSBURGH, PA (KDKA) – The school buses are getting last-minute touch-ups before hitting the road on Friday for Pittsburgh Public Schools.

“We are just getting creative and trying to maximize all of our routes on the road,” said PPS Transportation Director Megan Patton.

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After weeks of overcoming bus driver shortages, only 294 students will be without a ride.

“As we get additional drivers cleared and trained, the process is going to be a lot smoother moving forward than it might be the first couple weeks,” Patton said.

Those new drivers may not actually be new, just new to the district. McKeesport Superintendent Dr. Mark Holtzman said his drivers are leaving for the incentives offered by PPS.

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“We received notice from our bus company that we would be short drivers at this point, and that shortage will impact starting tomorrow, which is Friday because that is when Pittsburgh Public Schools begins,” Holtzman said.

Holtzman told KDKA that even though his students started school over a week ago, some students will be left at the bus stop. His district has now filed in court against Pennsylvania Coach Lines for breach of contract.

“It may impact more than we can imagine. It’s just not going to be a few. The last thing we need is for those children to be put in compromised situations,” Holtzman said.

The owner of Pennsylvania Coach Lines told KDKA that he’s aware of the court filing but said he just doesn’t have enough drivers to fill the needs. He said he wanted to give a heads up to McKeesport so the district could prepare, as he is unable to fill all the routes daily based on the changing circumstances.

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There is a hearing between the district and the bus company to try to find a solution on Friday morning.