ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Public School Superintendent Kelvin Adams has been struggling with a school bus driver shortage that’s caused kids to be stranded at bus stops when buses don’t show.
Now, Adams has decided to get a new bus company to transport the district’s 17,000 kids. The $25 million bus contract deal with First Student ran out and new bids were held.
In addition, they are going to look at consolidating some of the bus routes to help make sure kids are picked up. Superintendent Adams has another idea, ask parents to take their kids to school. He said they won’t be reimbursed for their expenses.
This is part of a nationwide school bus driver shortage. You Paid For It team has been inundated with calls from angry parents whose kids were left stranded at bus stops.
They were supposed to have to use taxi cabs when the buses didn’t show but often they couldn’t get the cabs either.
Some parents said they’re even having bus troubles during summer school and that’s just a month. Adams said he’s doing everything possible to deal with the trouble.
“We anticipated having 141 buses for the summer. We thought things would work out much better than they have,” he said. “But bus companies still having issues getting drivers that have continued over the last two years, and obviously it’s taking place this summer. Well, we will after Thursday have a new bus vendor. Missouri Central will be our bus company we are hopeful that the new relationship with this new bus company can hopefully address some of the challenges!”
Parents like Jaquita Jenkins hoping for a change as they struggle to get their kids to school.
“This has made his school year horrible,” she said. “He’s missed a total of 60 days last year for school. Me and my son are disabled, so it makes it almost impossible for us to get him to school and get him back from school.”