Anchorage School District families will have full bus service next month, after many families endured a semester in which students were without buses to school for weeks at a time.
A severe bus driver shortage led the district to enact a system of limited bus service that rotated through routes, leaving families scrambling for carpools and child care and waiting in long pickup and drop-off lines.
But district officials said Wednesday that come Dec. 5, the district will have full bus service, though route numbers will be different, as will some pickup and drop-off times. Families may see those times adjusted 10 to 20 minutes earlier or later. The bus stop locations won’t change, according to the district.
While the district has hired 50 more drivers, it has also worked with a consultant from a transportation software company who helped eliminate the need for 24 routes, which means the district only needs 204 total bus drivers compared to the 228 needed in the past, according to acting chief operating officer Rob Holland.
The district also recently enacted a new agreement with the local bus drivers union, which includes a new wage package in which drivers can start making $25 an hour. The private company contracted to provide the district with some drivers, Reliant Transportation, also agreed to match the union’s wages.
Holland encouraged families to check Parent Connect online for possible route number and time changes.
Those details will be available Dec. 1.