Bus Route Reduction

School Bus

 

PPS Needs to Reduce Bus Routes

This entire year we have been utilizing substitutes from other districts and PPS staff who are licensed to drive buses to fill vacancies.  Even with these efforts we will need to reduce routes starting Monday, October 18th.  Just like last year, we will reduce three routes a day and will do so on a rotation.  Parents will need to find transportation for their child one day per week, Monday through Thursday.  We will also reduce routes on Friday and that will be done as a rotation.

Route Reduction Plan 

Our plan is to do this through November 19th and then reassess to determine if we need to extend.  Our hope is that we will get a few drivers back and also acquire some new drivers during this time period.  

Day

No Transportation

Monday

Bus A (4)

Bus B (5)

Bus C (11)

Tuesday

Bus D (14)

Bus E (12)

Bus F (16)

Wednesday

Bus G (17)

Bus H (1)

Bus I (2)

Thursday

Bus J (3)

Bus K (15)

Bus L (18)

Friday

Rotation

Friday Rotation

Oct 22

Bus A (4)

Bus B (5)

Bus C (11)

Oct 29

NO SCHOOL

Nov 5

Bus D (14)

Bus E (12)

Bus F (16)

Nov 12

Bus G (17)

Bus H (1)

Bus I (2)

Nov 19

Bus J (3)

Bus K (15)

Bus L (18)

 

PPS Needs More Bus Drivers

School districts across the State are critically short on bus drivers.  We experienced this shortage last year and this year is even worse.  Unfortunately there are not enough bus drivers for the demand in the State.  We are eager to bring in new drivers and will work with them to meet their needs.  The district needs, at a minimum, 15 bus drivers every day to complete our routes.  We are currently down 6 drivers. We worked with our drivers last year to increase our route rates from $16.74 to $18.50/hr.  In an effort to keep our current drivers and add new drivers we are implementing the following:

Portland Public Schools is announcing the following Transportation Incentive Program to begin on October 11, 2021.  School bus and van driver employment opportunities are available with both Portland Public Schools and METS.

Salaries

Transportation salaries will be increased by $1.50/hr making our base run rate $20/hr for the remainder of the 2021-2022 school year.  

Signing Bonus

The following signing bonus will be provided to all newly hired drivers:

$3,000 for a fully certified bus driver that begins employment before January 1, 2022

$2,000 for a fully certified bus driver that begins employment after January 1, 2022

$1,000 for any uncertified bus or van driver

Miscellaneous

The District will pay for all necessary bus driver training courses.  Individuals will receive $250 for taking and completing the training courses.  All driver related costs (fingerprint, CDL, etc.) will be reimbursed.  Drivers will be offered PTO and Holiday Pay.

Retention Bonus 

All drivers will receive a retention incentive of $1,000 for their continued employment into the 2022-2023 school year.

If you or anyone you know may be interested in driving part time or full time please have them contact our HR Specialist Diana Graef at dgraef@portlandk12.org or call our office at (517) 647-4161.

I am really sorry for the significant inconvenience this will have on families.  We have worked through numerous scenarios and plans and this is the only one that will work for our current situation.  Transportation is going to continue to be a problem throughout the rest of the year as this current plan does not take into account any additional staff absences.  We have great drivers and staff at the bus garage and they would love nothing more than to transport all of our students to school every day.  Please know that as soon as we can resume normal operations we will do so.

Since many families have not transported their students to and from school this year I will have the building principals send out the drop off and pick up times and locations for their buildings tomorrow.

Again, my apologies for this inconvenience.

Will Heath

Superintendent

Portland Public Schools





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