OCPS adds second round of bus trips to high schools to counter driver shortage

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Children of all ages will be delayed getting home from school this fall after Orange County Public Schools added a second round of trips from some of the district’s 22 high schools.


The changes, which officials said do not affect every school, will mean some teens will be scheduled to arrive at their building as early as 6:30 a.m., well before the first bell rings. In the afternoons, the new schedule will delay the second round of bus riders by 20 minutes.

The change, which officials said is based on ridership levels, will have a trickle-down effect in the afternoons. Middle and elementary school buses will now depart 35 minutes after the closing bell.

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Officials said this would solve a problem that happened last year, when parents complained about inconsistent arrival times at the end of the day. However, they acknowledged the inconvenience to the students.

“Schools are planning for kids to have snacks, homework help or tutoring during that 20 minutes or so that they will remain in school,” incoming Superintendent Dr. Maria Vazquez said.

Officials promised to evaluate the route plan as ridership became clearer and urged parents who were able to drive their children to school to do so.

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They also hinted that schedules could be adjusted if staffing improves.

“As we bring on more bus drivers, we’ll be able to return some of the second runs for the high schools back to the more traditional runs,” Director of Transportation Bill Wen explained.

Parents can check their child’s bus stop and schedule here.

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