More than 50 bus drivers will soon be driving for ASD

Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 9:12 PM AKDT|Updated: Aug. 17, 2022 at 3:36 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - In an email shared by the school district Sunday night, superintendent Jharrett Bryantt announced that seven new bus drivers have been hired on top of the 50 new bus drivers who will soon be behind the wheel for the Anchorage School District, helping to reduce the number of unstaffed routes that hamper student transportation as the new school year begins.

The first day of school for Anchorage students is on Thursday and Superintendent Jharrett Bryantt said that the district is still 70 bus drivers short at an Anchorage School Board meeting Tuesday night. However, Bryantt said that more than 55 additional drivers are on track to receive their commercial driver’s license and help drive buses full of students by the end of September.

“I recognize the level of frustration and pain felt by the many members of our community as a result of the bus driver shortage. Know that this is an urgent matter and that my top priority going into this new school year is getting the district closer to a level of bus service that families expect from their school district,” Bryantt said. “As of today, we are on track to have over 55 additional licensed drivers on the road by the end of September, and we believe that number will keep rising. So in other words, there is light at the end of this tunnel. A rotating bus schedule will not be the permanent state.”

Bryantt said that 16 new drivers have begun their training, seven more will begin training next week, another 16 are being interviewed prior to training, and 17 more will begin driving ASD buses on Sept. 19.

Bryantt sent a letter to parents on Tuesday addressing the current driver shortage. During the meeting, Bryantt thanked Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson’s office and the Anchorage Assembly. Bryantt said that his administration had begun conversations with Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s office, but was unable to share any details.

In an email sent to parents on Wednesday afternoon, Bryantt wrote that three additional drivers would begin work next week.

This article has been updated with additional information.

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