Frustration over lack of bus drivers

Montgomery County

AMSTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — There are transportation troubles for the Greater Amsterdam School District. Parents are upset that their kids have been arriving home late after taking the school bus. At a board meeting Wednesday night, the bus issue was brought up.

“Our local carrier, STA, had about a quarter of their workforce call in the day before school to say they weren’t driving anymore for them or couldn’t at that point,” explained Superintendent Rich Ruberti.

The reason? Well, there are many. Superintendent Ruberti said not only is there a bus driver shortage nationwide, but other companies are paying more.

“There is not another test from the DOT until the end of October for those who might want to get their CDL. There is quite a process to get your CDL. In addition, any third party person we have have to get tested or vaccinated and our drivers as well, so that does have a factor.”

As a result, this has had a negative impact on the district.

“You’re transporting almost 4,000 kids, so the runs are all of a sudden delayed.”

School bus pick ups and drop offs have been delayed by almost two hours. After school, kids are being monitored by teachers and staff in the cafeteria until it’s time for them to catch their ride. The superintendent said the district is actively searching for a solution and is in talks with CDTA to come to Amsterdam.

“We are just trying to find a resolution that’s reasonable, and we appreciate your patience in the short term. To me, it’s not acceptable to wait two hours. It’s not something we want. It’s a shortage we are all dealing with, and it’s a nationwide shortage, so we are doing everything we can.”

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