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Seymour Public Schools institute community bus stops for tech school students

The national bus driver shortage is forcing districts across the state to get creative.

SEYMOUR, Conn. — Seymour Public Schools has temporarily instituted community bus stops for students at Emmett O’Brien and Platt Technical High Schools. The move comes amid a national bus driver shortage.

Normally, students would get picked up and dropped off by the school bus near their house. Now, the school district has designated community stops around town where students will get dropped off and picked up.

The schedule is as follows for both mornings and afternoons:

6:15 Chatfield-LoPresti School

6:20 Rocky's Deli - Pearl & Maple

6:25 Seymour Board of Ed – Bank and Martha

6:30 Seymour Evangelical Baptist Church- 104 Mountain Road

6:35 Seymour Middle School

6:40 Bungay School

6:45 Seymour Community Center

6:48 Moss Ave Park- Sochrin’s Pond

6:50 Gabby's Auto Body- 634 South Main

7:00 Emmett O'Brien

7:20 Platt Tech

The new schedule is causing some headaches for families, especially those that include working parents.

“We have to come down the hill. The bus isn’t always on time and then I’m more late than ever getting everyone else ready to go,” said parent Christine Brushie.

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Seymour Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Susan E. Compton said they realize this is not an ideal situation but at this time it is their only option to getting the students back and forth to their out-of-district schools. She also added they appreciate parents' patience and understanding.

RELATED: Parents worry about school bus drivers not showing up Monday

“We truly have been working diligently to try to minimize as less problems as possible but we’ve recently had some bus drivers who’ve either been sick or who have taken other jobs," said Dr. Compton.

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All-Star Transportation is the company that runs school buses for Seymour Public Schools. General Manager Stephen Gardner said the company is currently down 90 school bus drivers and 11 at the Seymour location.

"Just hiring people this past year was a struggle because people were afraid to come to work and drive a school bus because of COVID and the unemployment benefits were a great bonus to those people, they could stay home and not work and make a good living and they didn’t have to face COVID," said Gardner. "We lost three drivers last week so when you lose three drivers in a week, there’s no way to make up for it, so it’s a struggle."

All-Star Transportation is hiring. For more information, you can visit the company's website.

Seymour Public Schools said the community bus stops will remain in place until they can get the driver pool back to normal levels, and the hope is to get things resolved in the next few days.

Angelo Bavaro is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at abavaro@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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