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Martin addresses busing changes

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CLINTON COUNTY VISITORS BUREAU A school bus was parked on Main Street in downtown Lock Haven during the Pedestrian Mall in the summer of 2021.

MILL HALL — Busing changes are coming to the Keystone Central School District.

During Thursday night’s school board voting session, KCSD superintendent Jacquelyn Martin talked about the transportation situation in the district. She addressed the changes during her superintendent’s report.

“The transportation changes I talked about last week are scheduled to begin on April 19,” Martin said. “This was expedited by the most recent loss of three additional bus drivers at Susquehanna Transit.”

Families who are impacted by the change have been notified, Martin said.

“I wish to thank our transportation department, the secretaries and the principals for communicating these changes to the families this past week,” Martin said. “Alert messages, letters and personal phone calls were made to the 700-plus families that are affected by the changes. We do anticipate that some adjustments will need to be made next week after the changes go into effect.”

Martin said that the busing changes will be a work in progress.

“We have been working on solutions. We don’t have a different solution to share with you yet,” Martin said. “We need to look at some things on Monday and (see) how that works out. As everyone is aware, just like the first day of school when there are new transportation routes, there are always adjustments made to that.”

According to Martin, bus schedules evolve as changes take place.

“Some students don’t ride, some people have called to be un-rostered from the bus and I do anticipate that there could be some help along the way in addressing those needs. We will continue to work with families that have any concerns or issues with it,” Martin said.

The school bus driver shortage is a problem that has plagued not only the Keystone Central School District, but other school districts throughout the Commonwealth.

In the fall, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said the state had about 42,000 drivers — the lowest number in about five years. Although the school year is winding down, PennDOT, the Department of Education and the Pennsylvania School Bus Association are working together to recruit more drivers.

According to the School Bus Association, for someone without a commercial driver’s license, it may take about 12 weeks to get trained. It’s a faster process for someone who already has a CDL, according to the association’s website.

Locally, Susquehanna Transit is hiring qualified drivers. For more information or to apply, visit www.susquehannabus.com.

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