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DCPS in need of hundreds of bus drivers | Delays causing families to adapt

One mom says her son waited close to an hour for a bus to pick him up before she took her own steps to bring him home in time for dinner.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Hundreds of bus driver positions are open in the Duval County Public School District, as bus delays continue to impact families.

It is a challenge that has forced some families to find new methods to get their children to and from school.

"This is the second time he’s being delayed from getting home on time," parent Diana Moore said.

Moore says her son waited close to an hour for a bus to pick him up before she took her own steps to bring him home in time for dinner.

"He called me and said the bus is not here yet, and I told him to give it a second. So then he waited about 10-15 minutes and called back and said could you get me an Uber," Moore recalled. 

Delays have plagued the district since the start of the pandemic.

According to DCPS leaders, over 3,000 bus trips happen every day across the district. As of December, 240 driver positions are vacant. Leaders say staffing shortages and COVID are to blame, but even with the shortages, the district still averages a 97% on time arrival rate.

To help, some bus routes have been combined. The district also partnered with JTA and is offering free rides on public buses to middle and high school students through May. Students just need to show an ID.

Moore says she understands the challenges and is moving forward with patience.

"We got to have patience. Their doing what they can do to get our kids home safe. So I'm very understand of what is going on," Moore Said. 

The district says all delayed bus routes will be posted to the district's website.

Transportation companies that work in the district are hiring right now, some even offering signing bonuses for new drivers. Go to the district's Bus Drivers Wanted page to learn more.