Pittsburgh Public Schools still working to find bus seats for 9,000 students

PITTSBURGH — While most of us are preparing for our summer vacations, officials with Pittsburgh Public Schools are wracking their brains to figure out how to overcome a bus seat deficit of several thousand students for the fall semester.

“We ask for a lot of patience from our families this coming fall. Our goal is to get students back to school all five days a week,” said Michael McNamara with PPS.

District officials said by the start of school, of the nearly 16,000 students that are eligible for transportation, they can only accommodate 6,600 students.

“That would leave us with a 9,000 student seat gap,” McNamara said.

The bus driver shortage caused by the pandemic is forcing the district to consider other avenues on how they can free up buses. District officials are looking at expanding the distance by which students would have to walk to school and using Port Authority transportation. The district could also use a tiered bus schedule which would change the start and end times at some schools.

“We are looking for creative ideas to decrease the seat gap and we will actively pursue them all summer,” McNamara said.

Parents are welcome to voice their concerns and share their ideas at upcoming district meetings.