Parents experience hours-long delays after 92 JCPS bus drivers call out

While some were left waiting for hours, others were told their kids’ buses wouldn’t have a driver at all, causing many parents to drive their kids instead.
Published: Nov. 3, 2023 at 11:27 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - JCPS had 92 bus drivers call out Friday, causing significant delays for many parents Friday morning and afternoon.

While some were left waiting for hours, others were told their kids’ buses wouldn’t have a driver at all, causing many parents to drive their kids instead.

One of those was Jeffersontown mom Yaneisha Edwards. She has three daughters in elementary, middle, and high school in JCPS.

Since the district began staggered start times, she says all three have been on very different schedules.

Her six-year-old daughter now gets home around 6:30 p.m. every night, more than two hours after her elementary school lets out.

She already drives her high schooler to and from school every day because she’s not comfortable with how far she would have to walk to her bus stop.

This week she also had to drive her middle schooler because the bus driver called out and her bus was running hours behind.

“They had a sub bus driver, but the sub bus driver keeps passing up the stop,” Edwards said. “I wanted to make sure he knew where he was going and honestly he told me that he didn’t. He didn’t know where he was going at all.”

Since Edwards works from home, she has more flexibility in her schedule than other parents who rely on school transportation.

“A lot of parents have had to find new jobs due to this situation,” Edwards said. “Just because of the fact of the bus situation, the transportation, the school time change, everything. It’s just a big mess if you ask me.”

JCPS officials have said the staggered start times are not changing, insisting that the bus driver situation would be worsened without them.

“Had we not changed our start times, we would have more than 800 bus routes this year, and we would still have 575 bus drivers,” JCPS Chief of Communications and Community Relations Carolyn Callahan said.  “So we would be in an even worse situation every single day than we are currently.”

Nevertheless, some parents like Edwards say they haven’t seen any improvements in the transportation issues since the beginning of the year.

“Marty Pollio stated that this time change, it would be a big difference, it would help everyone,” Edwards said. “But it just seems like to me it’s falling apart daily. If you ask me, it’s not getting any better.”

The district expects more callouts on Monday. Despite the shortage of drivers, JCPS told WAVE News the last student was dropped off at 7:18 p.m. Friday, which officials say is normal for a Friday night.