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  • Writer's pictureDeirdre McCrohan

Driver shortage spurs late change for school buses

A shortage of drivers will likely force the Yellow Bus Challenge to consolidate routes during the Reed Union School District’s 2021-2022 school year, a plan that could mean more crowded buses, longer rides and the elimination of a few stops.

The Tiburon Peninsula Traffic Relief Joint Powers Authority board of directors, which operates the pass-subsidy program, voted unanimously Aug. 13 to approve a plan that would consolidate the typical 12 morning and 12 afternoon routes servicing the Reed district into eight each.

The move came after bus company First Student informed the group only five drivers had signed on to operate the Yellow Bus Challenge’s seven buses amid a shortage that has seen the company’s driver pool decline by 30 percent nationwide.

Under the consolidated plan, which is contingent on feedback from First Student, no routes would be fully dropped, but several would be combined into longer routes, with most of the five drivers needing to do back-to-back runs in the both the mornings and afternoons to complete all eight each way.

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