HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) — The Massachusetts National Guard has completed its school transportation mission after an unprecedented national shortage of bus drivers.

According to a news release from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Governor Baker activated the Massachusetts National Guard to support school districts during a national shortage of bus drivers. Governor Baker’s order made available nearly 250 Guard personnel for transportation assistance. With the local school districts who had requested assistance now able to meet transportation needs through civilian drivers, the Guard is now able to conclude its mission.

“The Commonwealth is grateful to the men and women of the Massachusetts National Guard for answering the call and supporting the safe transportation of students in communities across Massachusetts,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “By working collaboratively with local districts who requested assistance, the Guard was able to provide critical school transportation support at a time when schools, students and families needed it most.”

“Time and again throughout its history, the Massachusetts National Guard has stepped up to serve the communities of our Commonwealth, and that has never been more true than during the last year and a half,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We appreciate the professionalism and dedication of the members of the Guard who supported this mission, and thank them for their service.”

The final mission metrics were:

  • 329,224 miles driven
  • 14,626 student pick-ups and drop-offs
  • 3,002 total routes
  • 236 soldiers participated in the mission
  • 13 total municipalities supported

The Guard provided school transportation support to 13 districts including Brockton, Chelsea, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Quincy, Revere, Wachusett, Woburn, and Worcester.