Hamilton school bus routes will be cancelled on ‘rotating’ basis

Hamilton’s school boards will cancel bus routes on a rotating basis to account for a critical shortage of drivers this semester.

In a memo sent to families Wednesday afternoon, the boards said they would begin “planned rotations of cancelled bus routes” beginning Sept. 28 to offset the ongoing cancellations faced by families whose children are supposed to ride buses to and from school along routes operated by Caledonia Transportation.

There were 14 Caledonia Transportation routes cancelled on Wednesday, with dozens of routes from other operators showing delays — some of more than 60 minutes.

“We understand that this will cause considerable inconvenience and disruption to families at different points in the route rotations,” said Pat Daly, chair of Hamilton’s Catholic board.

“As much as we regret having to cancel any of our routes, this measure is necessary to assure a higher level of service, albeit on a rotating basis.”


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Howard County school system, bus contractors agree on modified driver pay during virtual learning

Despite county schools being virtual through at least January because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Howard County Board of Education recently approved an amendment to the school system’s contract with bus companies to continue to pay bus drivers — at a reduced rate — during the first semester.

The amendment means at least $11 million will be paid to school bus companies that are not driving kids to school through January, school system officials said during a virtual school board meeting Sept. 10. The vote passed 5-1, with member Christian Delmont-Small as the lone member to vote against the amendment. Member Jen Mallo was marked not present for the vote, and student member Zach Koung couldn’t vote because student members cannot vote on issues pertaining to budget, personnel or other restricted matters.

The goal is to keep the bus companies viable while also not spending too much for bus

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‘I don’t need this job. Fix it.’ School bus drivers question safety

a man in a car talking on a cell phone: Bert van Ingen, 67, has been driving a school bus since 2014.

© Provided by Ottawa Citizen
Bert van Ingen, 67, has been driving a school bus since 2014.

Bronson Richard has being driving school buses since February 2019. He was sanitizing his big yellow bus on Monday morning when he heard another driver’s query over the dispatch radio.

The other driver said that a student who was not wearing a mask was expecting entrance onto a bus. The dispatcher advised the other driver to allow it.

The exchange worried Richard, 24, who has Type 1 diabetes. He called his supervisor and said he would not be be driving.

“It’s not just a danger to my health, it’s a danger to the community. I want these kids to go to school. But it has to be done in a safe way,” said Richard.

Bus drivers do not have the leeway to refuse service in situations where they feel unsafe, he said.


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In City Council hearing, MTA, Baltimore school officials discuss bus plans for students

Questions about bus service already are flooding in from the parents of Baltimore students.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Monique Ngomba, standing second from left holding pole, rides a city bus with other students.

© Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun/The Baltimore Sun/TNS
Monique Ngomba, standing second from left holding pole, rides a city bus with other students.

What would the Maryland Transit Administration’s plan to reduce bus service by 20% in January due to fiscal losses from the coronavirus mean for the 29,000 students who rely on it?


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Will crowded buses skip students’ stops to make sure proper social distancing is maintained? For however long classes remain virtual, how would students be able to access schools to pick up meals and other resources?

“It’s going to be delicate dance, I’m not going to lie,” said Kevin Quinn, chief of the MTA. “It’s going to be complicated, and communication is going to really be key.”

As students returned to virtual classes this week, MTA and Baltimore City Public Schools

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Mount Airy school system gains funding for pandemic-related bus safety pilot program | Local News

Mount Airy City Schools has been chosen for a pilot program aimed at making the school bus ride safer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The third round of state COVID-19 relief legislation, which cleared the General Assembly in House Bill 1105 on Thursday, provides $115,000 to the state Department of Public Instruction to establish the Smart School Bus Safety pilot program.

The Mount Airy system was chosen in part because about 1,300 of its 1,700 students are being instructed in-class during the 2020-21 school year. About 500 students are bus riders, according to system Superintendent Kim Morrison.

The program would begin Nov. 23 and end on Jan. 1, 2024. The funding is required to be spent by Dec. 30. When the program concludes, the system would keep the equipment.

According to the bill, the purpose “is to transform and improve the transportation of public school students through technology in response to

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Edmonds School District bus drivers rally demanding benefits after layoffs

Edmonds School District bus drivers were laid off in August, and now they are left without medical benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

EDMONDS, Wash. — School bus drivers for the Edmonds School District rallied for health benefits after layoffs this summer.

Bill Whalen is an Army veteran turned Edmonds School District bus driver.

He’s been driving kids to school for 13 years.

“I am getting older, but I feel 20, 30 years younger because I am around kids and that to me is important,” he said.

The layoffs were announced in mid-August.

The news that Edmonds School District was laying off 175 bus drivers was a blow to Whalen and his co-workers, and not just because they’re out of a job.

“Our benefits have been cut off, our medical benefits, and a lot of people rely on those benefits,” he said.

The loss of benefits hit fellow bus driver John

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