FCPS Faces Bus Driver Shortage, Impacts Oakdale


Kaitlyn Valle

Busses lined up at Oakdale High School picking up students

Kaitlyn Valle, Writer

Frederick County Public Schools has started reporting bus driver shortages since the return to full-time in person classes. Due to the shortages, many of the bus routes have been altered to supply transportation to students all over Frederick County. Despite many efforts for students to make it to school in a timely manner many have experienced bus delays, affecting them in many ways.

Sophomore Emily McEntire, mentioned that the bus delays have impacted her and others academically causing a lot of stress: “ When the bus was late the first time, we had our unit assessment in AP government and I missed half of it, that was stressful.”

McEntire isn’t the only one experiencing this issue, however. Sophomore Janis Vangchhia explained her own experience: “My bus was running 15+ minutes late and it almost made me miss my first block.”

Another factor of bus delays, many bus routes have been altered to accommodate for the excess of students, leaving the busses overcrowded.

”There are some kids sitting in the walking aisle, or 3 kids on a 2 seater, some students have even been kicked off the bus and forced to walk for over an hour back to their house because there wasn’t enough space” Vangchhia pointed out. Many parents and students question the safety of this.

McEntire, however, didn’t see the same issue: “On my bus, most of the seniors and juniors can drive themselves leaving more space for other students”

FCPS has a website to notify parents and students if their assigned bus is running late and this website is updated for both the AM and PM routes. FCPS will list a bus on the site if it is delayed 10 minutes or more, but many have experienced bus delays up to an hour, leaving them unsure of what to do when their bus is delayed. A lot of parents were forced to decide if they should wait for the bus or drive their child.

In one situation McEntire’s bus was running 60 minutes late: “ I didn’t really know what to do, I ended up waiting with some of my other friends who ride my bus, but we ended up having to ride the middle schoolers bus.”

Overall, bus drivers have been working tirelessly to provide bus service to students all over FCPS. You can monitor bus delays here:https://apps.fcps.org/transportation/delay