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Bus driver shortage impacts wait at bus stops in Carbon County

The Jim Thorpe Area School District superintendent believes things will get better soon because more people have applied to be drivers.

JIM THORPE, Pa. — It's a constant battle at the bus stop for parents across the Jim Thorpe Area School District.

Cassandra Parent of Penn Forest Township has a daughter in kindergarten and says she has been spending a lot of time waiting around.

"We don't really know when the bus is going to actually come. The first day it was on time. The next day it was ten minutes late. Then it's on time again, and then it's 15 minutes late. So we're spending like 20 minutes giving up time, so we don't miss the bus," Parent said.

She says the problem isn't just getting to school but coming home too, and she's not the only one.

Jim Thorpe Area Superintendent Robert Presley says the start of the year was rough because of a lack of bus drivers.

"We had to double up buses. Buses would come to the school and then go back out to get a local run and come back again. So we were doubling them up. We also had to combine buses, and we had administrators who were taking vans out to get students where they need to go," Presley said.

Not only is the bus driver shortage impacting getting kids to and from school but also extra-curricular activities and games.

The district contracts with Brandywine Transportation for school bus service. 

Presley says things will hopefully get better soon because more people have applied as drivers.

"That's getting better now," Presley said. "I'm currently told that we're down to only doubling up one bus. Maybe do one or two double runs, but Brandywine has applicants that they're trying to process for bus drivers and van drivers."

"I haven't been getting super frustrated with it," Parent said. "I'm understanding of it. But I hope it does get better, and I hope we have more of a set time for when it comes. That'd be nice."

Even though they say the problem is improving, the Jim Thorpe Area School district is still looking for more bus and van drivers.

If you're interested in applying, click here. 

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