1/8/22: Transportation delays: staffing shortage, expectations
Dear NTPS families, specifically those whose student(s) ride the bus:
During the past week we experienced severe weather and increased staff absences due to COVID-19 which impacted our transportation services. We want to thank you for your patience and understanding. The purpose of this message is to provide families with more information about our current transportation challenges and what you can expect in the near future.
This last week we were operating our bus routes without 30 percent of our normal staff. This staffing shortage resulted in the cancellation of some routes; it also caused some delays. We know it is frustrating and disrupting for families to experience delays and cancelled routes. Please know that your child’s tardiness or absences related to delayed routes or cancelled buses is an excused absence.
We expect staffing issues to continue as the Omicron variant spreads rapidly in our community. As a result, it will be difficult to provide the reliable transportation services you count on us to deliver. When possible, we will rotate the routes impacted, so that we are not cancelling the same routes. We utilize Smart Tag to alert families about route changes, delays, or cancellations.
assure you that our Transportation team is working round the clock to come up with solutions to ensure students are transported safely. They are reconfiguring routes, using district vans where possible, and having administrators and other qualified staff drive busses. In addition, we strive to provide critical transportation services for our students who are served in special education, are McKinney Vento (homeless youth), or are receiving foster care services.
As we work through these staffing challenges, we also wanted to make you and your family aware of Intercity Transit’s many options. To learn about real time routes near you, download the “OneBusAway” app, or check out the Bus Buddy System, or Travel Training to support your student in riding a public bus.
We know that the uncertainty of not knowing when or if your bus will arrive is stressful. We will continue to do our best during these challenging times and appreciate your continued patience. Also, if you or someone you know is interested in becoming a regular transportation specialist or substitute driver, please visit our webpage and fill out an application. We need you!
-NTPS Community Relations