Bussing issues upset parents just as some Pittsburgh students return to classrooms

PITTSBURGH — Some Pittsburgh Public Schools parents are frustrated and concerned over bussing issues.

About 800 of the most vulnerable students in the district went back to in-person learning on Monday.

On Tuesday, several parents reached out to Channel 11 News, upset because their children were never picked up by the bus or waited for over an hour. Some parents had to drive their children to school as a last resort.

District officials confirmed some drivers submitted paperwork with their bus companies for what’s called a “COVID leave.” New drivers were put on routes for the afternoon.

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A district spokesperson released the following statement Wednesday morning:

“Our Transportation team is working to accommodate changes to students' cohorts as they are received. Five drivers from various companies that we contract with took a COVID leave yesterday. Coverage has been secured for these impacted routes. While we do not anticipate any issues this morning, the impact of COVID-19 is unpredictable. Should families have any issues with transportation, they should contact the Transportation Office at 412-529-8125.”

There has been a widespread bus driver shortage in western Pennsylvania, forcing school districts and bus companies to stretch resources to fill routes.

One company told Channel 11 News some drivers weren’t working because of COVID-19 concerns coupled with the stress of watching the kids.