Why some school systems are still struggling with bus delays, routes

Tuesday morning, nearly 30 bus routes were delayed in Roanoke City

Nearly 30 busses were delayed in Roanoke this morning, some by an hour

ROANOKE, Va. – It’s been almost two months since most Southwest Virginia schools began their new year.

Issues with school transportation persist, and staffing shortages are to blame.

On Tuesday, almost 30 routes were delayed in Roanoke City – some by an hour, according to the school’s website

10 News was told a “data issue with the mass communication system” is why notifications about the delays were delayed.

Pulaski County Public Schools said hiring has been an issue for years but recently things have gotten harder.

“Everybody that we have that’s on staff and has a CDL is driving. I’ve got supervisors driving, a director driving, and a couple of teachers driving,” said Director of Operations Jeff Shull. “Occasionally, we will have a situation where we get students home a little later than normal, but we try to keep it within 30-40 minutes of their normal arrival time. We’re trying to minimize any inconvenience to students, but it’s definitely an inconvenience to the staff.”

10 News talked to Franklin County Public Schools in July when there were close to 20 contract driver vacancies.

Since then, school officials said things have improved greatly.

“When we started in July there were 18 open contracts. We are down to four left,” admitted Supervisor of Transportation Cherie Whitlow. “We have just come together as a group, as a community, and I think a lot of the information that was talked about in July on your segment has really helped us. That’s where we got a lot of the publicity and people started calling, we started training, and now they’re driving.”

You can apply to open positions by visiting the school system’s website.

About the Author:

McKinley Strother joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2020. He anchors 10 News at 6 and 11 on Saturdays and Sundays and you'll also catch him reporting during the week.