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Superintendent: Remaining RCSD students without transportation will soon get it

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Rochester City School District
Rochester City School District Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small.

All Rochester City School District students are expected to have a ride to school by the end of the month, according to Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small.

As the school year began, a shortage of bus drivers at the district and its contractors left hundreds of students with delayed pickups – or no ride at all. 

Myers-Small says the district is short about 20 bus drivers daily and has no substitutes. The issue is caused by a rash of retirements, resignations, and vacancies at a time when drivers with commercial licenses are in short supply everywhere. She said the trend has continued as recently as Thursday, when one driver left the district and 10 left its contractors.

Still, she said they’re working on solutions.

“By the end of September, our goal is to have the remaining 130 students covered by transportation,” Myers-Small said. 

She was scant on details on how this will occur, but in recent weeks, the district cut a deal with RTS to cover some students. Also, students within a mile of schools have been encouraged to walk, and the district’s transportation team has worked to make routes more efficient.

As for the longer term, Myers-Small said the district is working with the Monroe County Clerk’s Office to speed up the process of getting new drivers licensed. It often takes new drivers a few months to get trained, licensed and insured.

She said most families will hear about their new transportation from the district in the next few days.

James Brown is a reporter with WXXI News. James previously spent a decade in marketing communications, while freelance writing for CITY Newspaper. While at CITY, his reporting focused primarily on arts and entertainment.