Persisting bus staff shortages leading to frustrated parents, anxious kids

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LANSINGBURGH, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Nationwide bus driver shortages are still causing frustration for parents, now several weeks into the school year. The delays are not only inconvenient for them, but also stressful for their children.

“It’s making them not even want to put in the effort to get up and get ready to go to school in the morning, because they don’t know how long they’re going to be standing at the bus stop,” Lansingburgh parent Danyal Harris told NEWS10.

Parents told NEWS10 there are inconsistencies with which bus will be picking up and dropping off their kids on any given day.

“Just yesterday, my son got on the wrong bus in the afternoon because he was used to being on one bus for three days straight,” said Rachel Rooney, another parent in the district. She said her son eventually got on the correct bus, but that it was a confusing experience for him.

Superintendent Antonio Abitabile was not available for interview Thursday, but emailed NEWS10 a statement.

“We are continuing our efforts to streamline student transportation by ensuring each of our buses is running at capacity,” Abitabile wrote, in part.

He added that although communication and efficiency have gotten better since the start of the school year, there’s still room for improvement.

Parents want to know when those improvements will be made.

“As of right now, it’s still all up in the air. There hasn’t really been an answer as far as what we are going to do in order to try and rectify the situation,” said Lansingburgh parent Felecia Powers.

Abitabile said the district’s contractor, Birnie Bus Service, ideally needs five to eight more drivers to be fully staffed, and they’re actively recruiting.

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