A critical shortage of bus drivers is forcing Edmond Public Schools to consolidate bus stops in some neighborhoods and discontinue bus service to a handful of neighborhoods that are within one mile from a neighborhood school.
“Three weeks ago, we were down 17 drivers. In just a few short weeks, we have lost an additional 12 drivers for a total of 29 drivers to date. Without enough drivers, we will not be able to meet the daily demands of safely transporting students once school begins August 18,” said Transportation Director Kenny Chamlee.
Despite aggressive advertising, the district has been unable to fill a number of open bus driver positions.
“The shortage of drivers has forced us to examine our routes and look for places where we can be more efficient,” explained Chamlee. “By consolidating an overabundance of bus stops in some neighborhoods and discontinuing service to a few neighborhoods which will affect about 170 or so students, we can significantly improve the service we provide to the 8,000 students who rely on us for transportation every day.”
The state does not reimburse Edmond Public Schools for bus service to neighborhoods that are within one mile from a school. However, as a courtesy, the district has provided it to dozens of neighborhoods for many years.
“We are only eliminating bus service in neighborhoods where students can safely walk to their neighborhood school,” said Superintendent Bret Towne. “It’s a difficult decision but one that is necessary. We will carefully monitor the situation and if the bus driver shortage improves, it’s possible that we could re-establish bus service to those affected neighborhoods.”
Bus service from the following neighborhoods to the affected school will be discontinued for the 2017-2018 school year.
Neighborhood School Affected
- Belmont Farms Cross Timbers Elementary
- Brasswood Charles Haskell Elementary
- MarbleLeaf Charles Haskell Elementary
- Cheyenne Crossing Cheyenne Middle School
- Covell Village Cheyenne Middle School
- Greens at Coffee Creek Apts. Cheyenne Middle School
- Prairie Village at Coffee Creek Cheyenne Middle School
- Touchmark at Coffee Creek Cheyenne Middle School
- Westborough John Ross Elementary
- Hawk Landing John Ross Elementary
|In addition, the following neighborhoods will experience a reduction of bus stops for 2017-2018. Parents are encouraged to go to the bus information icon on the home page to search for their bus stop.http://edmondschools.net/parents-students/transportation/|
| School Affected
Summit Middle School
|Chateau||Ida Freeman Elementary School|
|Cheyenne Crossing||ENHS/John Ross Elementary School|
|Coffee Creek||John Ross Elementary School|
|Copper Creek||SFHS/West Field Elementary School|
|Covell Village||John Ross Elementary School|
|Creekside/Glen Oaks||Charles Haskell Elementary School|
|Fairfield||Sunset Elementary School|
|Fenwick||SFHS/West Field Elementary School|
|Fossil Creek||SFHS/Summit Middle School|
|La Sonata||Frontier Elementary School|
|Meadow Lakes||Ida Freeman Elementary School|
|Northwood||EMHS/Cimarron Middle School|
|Pebble Creek||Cheyenne Middle School /John Ross Elementary School|
|Ripple Creek||Sunset Elementary School|
|Seminole Pointe||SFHS/Summit Middle School|
|Sheffield Glen||Summit Middle School|
|Sonoma Lake||SFHS/Summit Middle School|
|Spring Creek||EMHS/Cimarron Middle School|
|Summer Oaks||Sunset Elementary School|
|Swan Lake||Ida Freeman Elementary School|
|Thomas Trails||Cheyenne Middle School|
|Thorn Hill||Heartland Middle School /Frontier Elementary School|
|Valencia||West Field Elementary/Heartland Middle School & SFHS|
“In some neighborhoods we have up to 20 stops with drivers stopping every few houses. By reducing the stops and asking students to walk just a bit farther, we can ultimately provide faster, more efficient service to all riders,” said Chamlee.
Individuals who are interested in being a bus driver for Edmond Public Schools can apply online by clicking the careers quick link on the home page and looking for support positions. http://edmondschools.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Support-Posting-08-07-2017.pdf
“The flexibility of a driver’s schedule makes it an excellent job for retirees, retired military personnel, college students and single parents who desire the same school schedule as their children. Drivers also receive training as well as teachers’ retirement and insurance,” explained Chamlee.
Staring pay for a driver is currently $12.60 per hour. Prospective drivers should have a clean driving record with no more than two moving violations in a three-year period.