ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — School districts nationwide — and in southwest Virginia — are seeing a shortage in certain staff members, including bus drivers.

Multiple parents whose children attend Roanoke City Public Schools say they are not pleased with how the school year has started when it comes to transportation.

Roanoke resident Jennifer Evans says that her daughter’s bus has been and continues to be late. Even though Evans works from home, she is forced to rearrange her work schedule — as well as her daughter’s schedule — during the day so she can be there for when her daughter gets off the bus.

“Everything gets off balance. If she’s not here on time, then the whole rest of her schedule because she’s got so much time before she’s go to do her homework, she’s got so much time before she’s got to get in the tub, so when she’s not here on time, besides my job, it just throws the whole rest of our routine off,” said Evans.

The mother adds that because of the bus delays, it was harder to get back into the start of the school year.

Catherine Stromberg, another parent within Roanoke City Public Schools, says that she has also experienced the instability of the school bus system.

“Me, personally, it’s getting kids to school consistently and getting them home consistently and making sure that we have confidence and trust in our busing and our school system and I think that’s, you know, we’ve interrupted that confidence and that trust and it’s really unfortunate” Stromberg told WFXR News.

The company that operates the school buses in the Star City, Durham School Services provided the following statement about what it is doing to solve the transportation delays:

“Durham continues to face a shortage of drivers, despite being in a better position than last year. As a result, we have had to double routes, which caused delays and late buses, but have identified solutions for our longer routes to help assuage some of these delays. As a result of this, we’ve seen improvements the last few days, and we anticipate seeing that reflected going forward. Our team is working tirelessly to minimize as many delays and disruptions as possible by identifying more efficient routes and solutions. We are dedicated to providing the school district and its students with reliable and safe transportation and will continue to identify and make improvements to our service until it is representative of the reliable service for which we are known. We encourage anyone who is interested in becoming a positive force in helping students get to school safely, on time, and ready to learn, to join the Durham School Services team as a school bus driver. Interested individuals can learn more and apply here.”

Durham School Services via National Express

Roanoke City Public Schools Superintendent Verletta White also says that she thinks that the bus routes will get back to normal as the district and Durham School Services continue their efforts to recruit and hire more drivers.

As of this writing, the Roanoke City Public Schools website says the following 25 buses are being delayed by 15 to 30 minutes as drivers double up on routes:

  • Morning only:
    • Bus 91
    • Bus 42
  • Afternoon only:
    • Bus 107
    • Bus 118
  • Morning and afternoon:
    • Bus 1
    • Bus 11
    • Bus 18 (middle school only)
    • Bus 24 
    • Bus 39 (middle school only)
    • Bus 64
    • Bus 68
    • Bus 69
    • Bus 73
    • Bus 76
    • Bus 86
    • Bus 88
    • Bus 94
    • Bus 96
    • Bus 103
    • Bus 106
    • Bus 110
    • Bus 115
    • Bus 118
    • Bus 133
    • Bus 142

School officials add that if your bus route is going to be impacted in the morning, you should arrive at the bus stop 15 minuets later than the time on the posted bus routes until further notice.