Some Seattle school buses running 1 to 2 hours late

SEATTLE — Dozens of bus routes for Seattle Public Schools students were running one to two hours late on Tuesday.

The delayed routes were listed on the Seattle Public Schools website.

The delays apply to both morning and afternoon buses unless specified.

A few routes were listed as being 30 minutes late, but most routes were running at least an hour late.

Since Seattle students returned to in-person learning on Sept. 1, district officials warned that a shortage of bus drivers could cause delays.

The bus drivers’ union said it appears there are three areas of concern for drivers: job security, continued safety concerns and the recent COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The union also said anyone who didn’t work during the pandemic last year likely either got another job or decided to retire.

Parents were warned that they need to have a backup plan to get their children to school.

Many families across Western Washington are being asked to opt in or out of bus service and perhaps coordinate a carpool on their own.

In August, First Student told KIRO-7 they were entering the school year with a 40 to 75 driver shortfall for Seattle Public Schools.

At the time, parents received a notification that delays were to be expected.

In a statement to KIRO-7 Tuesday, a spokesperson for First Student said:

“We continue to actively recruit and look forward to returning to a level of service the community expects of us, and we expect of ourselves, as soon as possible.”

At last report, First Student said they were training drivers and hoped to see route times improve sometime in October.