The Omaha Public School District issued a statement Thursday following bus delays that affected the start of their new school year.
OPS officials say they are working with their contractor, Student Transportation of America, to assess the impact of transportation issues experienced on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.
OPS met with the contractor on Thursday and said that STA is currently exploring alternatives for managing bus driver shortages.
"We will share more information when it is available. We will make every effort to get our students to school and back home safely, securely and as close to on time as possible," OPS said in their statement.
OPS officials also released the following information on their bus services:
- OPS received 52,000 students back to school Monday. Approximately one out of three students rides a bus to school
- We are working with our contractor to determine how long bus delays are expected to continue. Typically, delays occur during the first few weeks of school as bus drivers and students become familiar with new routes.
- This year, however, bus driver shortages have been a challenge for our contractor, Student Transportation of America. STA is working to assess how long the expected transportation issues are expected to last.
- Omaha Public Schools’ own transportation services drivers have been filling in to help cover routes.
- The district is currently exploring the possibility of bringing in additional contractor support to fill the gaps.
- Driver shortages are a challenge nationally for school districts and the industry.
OPS sent out another recorded message to parents Thursday evening, urging parents who have the option to drive their kids to school to do so. OPS said the bus delays are improving, but delays are expected to continue on through Friday.
OPS said that any parents who have questions or concerns about their child’s bus route should contact Student Transportation at: (402) 572-5985.