Wake County Schools

Wake school leaders say 150 buses, drivers needed to end after-school wait for students

Posted December 19, 2017 6:43 p.m. EST

— Wake County’s shortage of school bus drivers should come to an end soon, but students could still have to wait for a ride in the evenings.

In a meeting Tuesday evening, school board members learned that while more drivers have been hired, more are still needed.

The district aims to have 750 drivers, but there are currently only about 710 on the road with nearly 50 trainees preparing to join them.

Despite the new hires, school leaders said more drivers will be needed to avoid shared bus runs, where one driver runs a route and returns to school to pick up more students for a second route.

The shared bus runs mean some students must wait at school in the evening.

“To dissolve all of the shared runs, we would need 153 more buses on the road than we do today. That is a significant number and a hurdle that we have to somehow overcome,” said school board member Bob Snidemiller.

At Tuesday night’s meeting, school leaders also continued to discuss a student reassignment plan for next year.

A majority of the new plan was approved earlier this month, with the exception of assignments around the new Buckhorn Creek Elementary School in Holly Springs.

Some Holly Springs families on the year-round calendar are upset that students reassigned to Buckhorn Creek will now be on a traditional calendar. Some of those families planned to speak Tuesday night.