Bus routes delayed with over a dozen JMCSS drivers absent

JACKSON, Tenn. — The Jackson-Madison County School System said a bus driver shortage delayed routes on Friday.

Parents dropped off students at Alexander Elementary School on Friday. The district sent a notification Thursday about possible delays due to a bus driver shortage. Ruby Buntyn, a parent, said that is one reason she drove her daughter.

“I’m wondering what’s going on,” Buntyn said. “Why all of the sudden they don’t have enough drivers?”

The Jackson-Madison County School System confirms 14 drivers called out Friday. Director of Transportation Keith Woods said some are on long-term medical leave while others have graduations to attend or family emergencies due to illness. “It just seemed like today became a bigger number than usual,” Woods said.

Woods said they only have about nine substitute drivers. He said they pulled licensed people from the office plus mechanics to fill in Friday. “Everyone that was available today did drive,” Woods said.

Woods said they also altered routes, so drivers had to pick up additional streets and children, which causes delays. “We kind of estimate most people were in the 15- to 20-minute range,” he said. “I’m sure there were some more than that.”

Parents said the issue needs to be worked out. “It’s a shame,” Buntyn said. “We pay taxes and everything, and they don’t have enough bus drivers.”

The district said it is trying to hire more drivers and even interviewed some applicants this week.

Woods said six people already applied to be trained this summer. He said they would like to get 15 applicants and have them all ready to drive in the fall.
Categories: Local News, News