Boston Students Confront Bus Driver Shortage On First Day Of School

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Thursday marked the first day of school for Boston students amid a bus driver shortage. The city cautioned parents that they would see "some disruption of service" because of the bus driver shortage on Thursday.

In a news conference last Thursday, Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said the district was down between 40 and 60 drivers.

Some students waited for their buses were more than two hours on Thursday morning, and the buses never showed, according to the Boston Globe.

In a statement, Boston Public Schools said Thursday afternoon that all of its bus routes were eventually covered, with some leaving late.

The district said it reached a deal with the union that represents the drivers on Wednesday to extend their contract into the fall.

Acting Mayor Kim Janey refused to provide details on the deal on Wednesday but Boston Public Schools said the current contract will be extended through November 15, in what it called a joint press release with transportation company Transdev.

Boston schools did not specify how the deal would affect the shortage.

The district said it would continue negotiations for a long-term contract.

"The vast majority of the almost 3000 bus routes in the BPS system have been routed and staffed," the Mayor's spokesperson, Stephanie Garrett-Stearns, said after an event at the Omni Hotel on Wednesday.

Janey drew some criticism over the system's driver shortage from other candidates in the mayoral race, including City Councilor Andrea Campbell, who said the city should have seen the shortage coming because of an ongoing national bus driver shortage.

The district said it "expected" its drivers to report for work on the first day of school, and parents who whose routes would be affected by the shortage would get a call from the BPS transportation department Thursday morning.

WBZ's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports:

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Written by Chaiel Schaffel

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