34 bus routes for Orange County schools without an assigned driver amid staffing issues

District leaders said they are in need of about 100 drivers

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A father frustrated over what he said is a consistent problem when it comes to the buses that are supposed to take his son to school.

A recent video from William Harper showed the bus was 45 minutes late to pick up his son.

Orange County Public Schools Chief Communications Officer Scott Howat said they have some concerns regarding busing.

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Howat said the district currently has 34 bus routes without an assigned driver.

Additionally, he said they are in need of about 100 drivers.

“At the beginning of the year, we’ve experienced staffing issues, we have been trying to recruit,” Howat said.

There are about 700 bus routes and about 69,000 students that are bused each day, according to Howat.

“Right now, our drivers are doing sometimes three trips in order to pick students up, and it is causing delays,” Howat said.

With school start times, Howat said the first routes of the day are the high schoolers, then the elementary kids, and lastly, the middle school students.

He said when one of the first routes runs late, it ends up impacting the middle school kids, adding that they are the ones most impacted by busing delays.

President of the Orange Education Support Professionals Association Ron Pollard said they are in talks with the district about incentivizing current drivers to pick up extra routes, by paying them extra each day.

He said he’s hopeful the incentive will help the situation.

Meanwhile, Harper said he’d like to see his son make it to school on time and to be able to rely on the buses to get him there.

About the Author:

Lauren Cervantes was born and raised in the Midwest but calls Florida her second home. She joined News 6 in August 2019 as a reporter.