Bus driver shortage raises concerns for Mt. Pleasant families

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A shortage of bus drivers in Charleston County has some Mt. Pleasant parents concerned for their child’s safety.

Several Mt. Pleasant parents said some days their kids have to wait over an hour to be picked up by the bus.

“Those little guys and girls are all standing out there, and it’s not good for them to be out there like that,” Alessandra Pastor said.

Pastor said this has been a reoccurring issue since school started.

“They’ve been in school less than 30 days, and out of those 30 days at least 15 of those days the bus has been late or not showed up at all or missed him on his route,” Pastor said.

Pastor said it’s not just happening to her child but is impacting several routes near her neighborhood.

She said several other parents have been trying to work together to bring kids home and take them to school when riding a bus isn’t an option.

“There’s times they’re out there for at least an hour waiting on their bus,” Pastor said. “Coming home, they’re supposed to arrive anywhere from 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and a lot of children aren’t getting home until well after 5 p.m.,” Pastor said.

A statement from Durham Bus Company stated, “We are currently experiencing a driver shortage in the Mount Pleasant area directly impacting the timeliness of our routes, but we are actively hiring new drivers.”

Pastor said it’s the timeliness that’s causing her child to get left behind.

"They're not in school to get their learning and by the time they get to school they're trying to wrap their head around what's really going on and it takes them awhile to get into the day,” Pastor said.

“In the meantime, we will be working with Charleston County Schools to develop proactive communications moving forward to help ensure parents and guardians are notified of any potential delays ahead of time,” the Durham statement said.

There is a Durham hiring event on Wednesday, October 4 and Thursday, October 5 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 3815 West Montague Avenue.

School bus drivers will get a $4,000 sign on bonus.

The Charleston County School District did not respond to our request for a statement.

Copyright 2018 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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