The RGRTA is committed to fighting the shortage of school bus drivers
ROCHESTER, NY – Back to school is facing challenges with a shortage of school bus drivers across the country and throughout New York State.
A Rochester public transport company is involved in this community which is particularly affected by the problem.
“There are times in life, things happen,” said Bill Carpenter, CEO of the Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority. “It’s one of those things. The community needs student transportation. We are going to do it.”
Coming out of a special meeting of the Council of Commissioners, Carpenter said the decision to help RGRTA had become obvious.
“The board has approved a change in the system,” Carpenter said.
The company already provides transit for the city of Rochester and plans to transport some 3,500 students. But in a board vote on Monday, the company cleared its intention to go ahead with the conduct of 3,877 additional students.
“If you’re not a bus customer, you haven’t appreciated the impact of this change,” Carpenter said. “Our customers will be impacted by this. But if we don’t have our students in school to graduate, our community will be affected. “
It comes amid a last-minute announcement that the city’s school district would not have enough bus drivers to get its students to school.
“One of my sentences is waving a magic wand, everyone would have what they need,” Carpenter said. “But that’s not where we are right now. There is a national shortage of bus operators. We will share this problem with the school district. We’re going to hit the chin with some of our clients.
The vote allows the board to approve a temporary change to the bus company’s system that will allow it to negotiate with the school district.
“All of the employees here that I have spoken to are supportive of this change,” he said. “We’re going to perform it extremely well, across the organization. Everyone is up to it. They understand the importance of this.
Once details are finalized with the district, buses will begin picking up students on September 13.
“I am very happy to be able to provide this solution to the transportation crisis in the school district,” Carpenter said.
RGRTA asks its regular customers to be patient. He also asks employers of bus users to be patient, because this transport company believes that what it does is for the greater good.