Pittsburgh Public School Students and Guardians Receive Free Port Authority Passes After Bus Driver Shortage | News | Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh public schools are facing a shortage of school bus drivers. While the school was originally scheduled to start on Wednesday August 25, it will now start on Wednesday September 8, as the school system was short of 426 drivers as of August 10. The shortage translates into a lack of 11,000 places needed. to transport students.

One action the school district is taking to address these gaps is to partner with the Allegheny County Port Authority to increase student numbers by approximately 1,028 students. These new passengers, along with a guardian to accompany them, will each receive a free weekly port authority pass so that they can practice taking the bus, exiting the bus and informing the operator of their stop.

PPS announced this program on Monday August 16 in its PPS Community Talk Back: Transportation and return to school. Weekly passes were given to Grades 6 through 8 students at Pittsburgh Obama and Sci-Tech, Grades 6 through 12 students at Pittsburgh Milliones, and Grade 6 students at Pittsburgh CAPA. The seventh and eighth graders of CAPA are already using Port Authority.

Students attending non-PPS schools, such as Bishop Canevin High School, Ellis School, Environmental Charter School, Manchester Charter School, Neighborhood Academy, Propel Charter Schools and Winchester Thurston, will also move on to the Port Authority.

The Port Authority’s increased student traffic will eliminate the need for 38 school buses. Currently, around 5,000 PPS students use Port Authority buses to and from school with Connect cards issued by PPS.

The school district is also expanding its boardwalk area, which has transformed about 800 students from bus drivers into walkers and eliminated the need for 22 school buses. This change has worried some parents, especially those with younger children who now have to use major highways to get to and from school.

To continue closing the gap, PPS encourages parents to “Free your seat” if their child (ren) do not need school-provided transportation to get to school. The school system is also search for new bus drivers who have “a valid driver’s license, excellent driving skills and an outstanding driving record”.

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