GUILDERLAND, N.Y. – With the recent spike of COVID, the increase of quarantine rates, and the challenges presented by the new variants of the virus, we anticipate a major impact on school transportation after the holidays. While we are already struggling with a national driver shortage and barely managing to service all the required runs with the drivers we currently have, we are concerned that we will not be able to provide the required transportation service if the COVID cases continue to increase and impact our workforce.
After a four-month shut down of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles followed by 14 months of federal and state imposed covid restrictions, our industry managed to put most of our service back in place this past September with a much-reduced staff. The spike in COVID has now compounded the situation, which has slowed hiring and placed many on quarantine. It will be impossible to achieve full-service levels after the holidays if the infection rate climbs even the smallest percent. Alternative routing and modified session times appear to be the best options available to serve as many students as possible under these extreme conditions.
As we continue to monitor the trends and data from the state health department and U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention Control, communication to our customers, parents, and the communities we serve is imperative to work together to be prepared and discuss temporary solutions.
About The New York School Bus Contractors Association: Represents over one hundred school transportation companies, also known as school bus contractors. The industry transports more than half of all the children who ride a school bus to and from school each day. The Association’s mission is to promote safe, reliable, and cost-effective student transportation services for New York’s school children. For more information, please visit: www.nysbca.com