School bus association concerned with COVID impact after holidays

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GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York School Bus Contractors Association (NYSBCA) is concerned the recent spike of COVID-19 cases will have a major impact on the school transportation industry 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,” said NYSBCA Executive Director Tammy Mortier.

With COVID restrictions and after the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles shut down for four months, Mortier said the school transportation industry was able to return most of its service in September with a reduced staff. She said the spike in COVID has now slowed hiring and placed many drivers in 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,” said Mortier.

NYSBCA will continue to monitor the situation, communicate with communities and discuss temporary solutions to the problem. NYSBCA represents over one hundred school transportation companies and transports more than half of all the children who ride a school bus to and from school.

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