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Education

Seattle schools suspending 142 bus routes because of driver shortage

School buses sit idle in a Seattle bus yard.
NPR
School buses sit idle in a Seattle bus yard.

Seattle Public Schools is suspending 142 school bus routes beginning Monday.

District officials said the cuts are necessary because of a national bus driver shortage and because some drivers are choosing not to follow the state-mandated COVID-19 vaccine rules for public employees, The Seattle Times reported.

District spokesman Tim Robinson said out of the 18,000 students who are eligible for bus rides, about 6,740 could be affected by the bus route cuts.

The 142 bus routes being suspended will not affect students in special education classes, students with individualized education programs or 504 plans that include public transportation services, students experiencing homelessness and foster students.

Schools at interim sites or those that serve “high proportions of historically underserved students” also won’t be affected, an email sent to parents Friday said.

The district doesn't know how many students will be affected by route shortages because the number of students who ride the bus fluctuates every day, Robinson said. There are 18,000 students in the district who are eligible for transportation services, and it’s estimated about half ride the bus.

You can find a list of affected routes here.

Updated: October 15, 2021 at 6:32 PM PDT
Link to affected bus routes added.