The following message was emailed to all parents on Friday, August 12.
The East Greenbush Central School District is updating its bus routes for the 2022-23 school year to improve transportation of students. As you may know, a national bus driver shortage, which was made worse by the pandemic, has caused challenges for school districts in how they transport children to and from school.
Many of our bus routes experienced delays last year because our existing drivers could not cover the total number of bus routes. This meant mechanics and office staff, who are licensed drivers, were pulled from their regular duties to fill in on a regular basis. It also resulted in drivers making double runs for certain schools – driving one group of students home then returning to school to pick up another group of students to bring them home.
For context, from 2017-18 to 2021-22, our number of permanent drivers decreased from 71 to 57. Even with increased recruitment efforts the past few years, replacing bus drivers has been extremely difficult.
The following changes should improve transportation across the school district, providing more efficiency and consistency.
Transportation Updates for the 2022-23 School Year:
- Busing will continue to be available to all students
- Hired 5 new drivers this summer
- Reduced number of total bus routes from 68 to 61 to align with the number of permanent drivers
- Bus stops are being consolidated into more group stops and fewer front door pickups
- Students who live in neighborhoods and apartment complexes will meet at group stops near their homes
- Students who live on busy main roads (e.g., Route 4) will continue to be picked up at their home due to traffic safety
- Duration of most routes will increase by 5-10 minutes
- Families can choose to opt out of busing through our Transportation Needs Survey if students will be driven by a parent to and/or from school
- This will allow our school buses to stop only for students in need of busing and make our bus routes even more efficient
- Please note: Your selection can be changed during the school year if needed
All bus routes will be posted on our school website (www.egcsd.org) later today. Bus drivers will begin making phone calls to all households starting August 31 to introduce themselves and provide detailed information about your child’s bus route.
If you have any questions about our new bus routes, please contact the Transportation Department at 518-477-9288.
The district continues to recruit full time and substitute bus drivers. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a school bus driver and serving this community, please call the Human Resources Office at 518-207-2529.