Parents in Moorhead worried about new bussing plan

Bus driver shortages are changing the ways many parents will get their children to school in Moorhead.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (KVRR) -Bus driver shortages are changing the ways many parents will get their children to school in Moorhead.

A Moorhead Area Public Schools office says this is a problem they’re working to solve immediately. He says over the last two years they’ve lost 14 drivers. Some have aged out and went into retirement so now their mission will be to fill those empty seats.

“This has been very difficult and we know it’s difficult for parents who are impacted and we don’t take that lightly,” Moorhead Area Public Schools Executive Director of Operations and Emergency Management Steve Moore said.

One of those parents is Jessica Jahner. She’s less than a mile out of bus service.

“The plan was for me to go back to work full-time after they started school, so that makes it a little difficult having to jungle driving schedules for two different schools now,” Jahner said.

Her oldest child Jason was all set to ride the buzz to Horizon Middle School. He’ll be starting his first year in fifth grade there.

“I haven’t road the bus yet in Middle School, so I was just wanting to ride the bus, get a feel for it. I’ve never been on a middle school bus. There’s multiple different grades on that bus,” Jason Jahner said.

Now their family has to make adjustments.

“We called in backup and we talked to Grandma and luckily for me she’s able to pickup morning shifts and drop offs, so it actually took a lot of the weight off of my shoulders last night, knowing we had something in place,” Jessica Jahner said.

The number of students on some Moorhead buses will increase from 55 to 70 students. Some routes will be combined in rural areas and private school routes will be combined with public school routes.

The district wants to get back to normal operations by November 1 before it gets too cold.

“We’re not going to wait to do it all in one lump and stretch it out. If I can buy back two routes tomorrow because I hired somebody that’s ready to drive, we’ll do that,” Moore said.

Moore says they are in the process of hiring three drivers while they look to hire four more.

Categories: Community, Local News, Minnesota News, Moorhead