SPS officials provide more details on upcoming transportation change

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- Nearly 1,500 students could lose a ride to school due to a transportation change.

Springfield Public Schools officials are providing more details about an upcoming change in transportation for some students.

Starting Nov. 8, the district said they are having to switch back to only allowing students on the bus who live a certain distance from school.

In a release, the district said, “Elementary and K-8 school students must live 2 miles or more from school, and middle and high school students must live 2.5 miles or more from school to be eligible to ride the bus for the foreseeable future.”

Chief Communications Officer, Stephen Hall, said it will impact approximately 1,500 SPS students. Hall said they are receiving questions from families about the new change.

“We continue to visit with them and try to help them, connect them with community resources and we’ll discuss things on a case-to-case basis with individuals,” Hall said. “We provided a voicemail hotline and a form for families to ask questions, as well as share concerns with us.”

Some of these students, Hall said, are being connected with other families to work on carpooling options.”We are providing free city bus passes for those families that that might be a viable option.” Hall said.

Hall said it all centers around the nationwide bus driver shortage.

“Right now, we have fewer bus drivers than we did at the beginning of the school year,” Hall said. “We have recruited, successfully, a good number of bus drivers and brought them on board and trained them since the beginning of the school year, only to see even more drivers leave and depart for other opportunities.”

He said the upcoming change for some students is, hopefully, temporary.”We will restore that full bus service just as soon as we are able to do that,” Hall said. “Our hope is that that could be as soon as January when we return from the winter break, but there’s no guarantee.”

For the students who are still eligible to ride the bus, Hall said bus stop locations and times could change. Parents should be notified of those changes before Nov. 8.

Hall said he encourages people to possibly consider becoming a bus driver for the first time.

“Many times, the bus driver is the first person and the last person associated with the school district that a student encounters every single day,” Hall said. “That’s a huge opportunity to positively impact the life of a child.”

SPS officials said starting pay for bus drivers is $17 per hour. SPS offers paid CDL training, health insurance, and other benefits. To apply, click here.

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