NEWTOWN, Pa. - Students and parents in a Bucks County school district are feeling the side effects of a school bus driver shortage that has forced a transportation company to stretch themselves thin.
First Student Bus Company has a fleet of 150 busses responsible for transporting students across the Council Rock School District, but on the average day only 125 drivers are available.
As a result, students have to deal with overcrowded buses and late arrivals. Sometimes the bus doesn't even show up at all. Understandably, the logistics headache has sparked the ire of parents in the district.
"This one is an epic fail across the board," one parent said.
In anticipation of this problem, the district's transportation team worked through the summer to revise routes and bus stops, but some parents say their work caused an even bigger mess.
"On his first day of school in Council Rock, he watched his bus fly right by our house. The driver eventually returned, told us she was overloaded and that she would leave my son at school on his first day of school until they figured this out and they still haven't," Tracey Phelan said.
Superintendent Robert Fraser says they're making progress and promised better communication with parents when busses are late. The school board believes they need just four more drivers to aliviate the problem.
"This issue has been, is, will continue to be our top priority," Fraser said.