ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque parents are starting to feel the impact of the bus driver shortage within the district. This, while APS and the bus company continue their efforts to hire more drivers.
For most students, school just started on Wednesday, and only three days into the new school year, frustrations are growing over school bus routes or the lack thereof. “The day before school, I called to see where the bus stop was,” said Richard Cedebaca – his daughter just started school at James Monroe this year. “I looked online and it’s over half a mile away,” Cedebaca said.
Cedebaca says he doesn’t feel comfortable letting his daughter walk that far by herself. “It’s not that far, but there’s [sic] predators out there,” Cedebaca said. “There’s [sic] stray dogs, and the street she walks, people fly up there, it’s just not safe,” he said.
Cedebaca says he’s unable to take her to school, or the bus stop because of his work schedule. In previous years, the stop was right across the street from their home near McMahon and Unser. Cedebaca says he spoke with the bus company on Friday, and they told him they don’t have enough drivers and have been forced to consolidate stops.
The district has told KRQE bus drivers are typically among the hardest positions to fill, but that they will continue to hire throughout the year as they always do. For now, Cedebaca says a friend is picking Alyssa up in the mornings, and taking her to another bus stop with their student.
APS says the district is down five bus drivers, while the bus company looks to fill 40 open driver positions.