If you have a child in the Utica, Rome or Herkimer School District it is likely you will see significant delays in busing pick-up and drop off times.

In an email obtained by WIBX, Executive Prinicipal Roy Kane of Notre Dame High School made the school community aware of the decision made by Durham Bus Services to delay the arrival and departure of students by one hour, due to a shortage in bus drivers.

Durham Bus Services has announced a press conference scheduled for today (Thursday, September 2nd) at 11:30AM to address the concerns and answer any questions regarding the decision to delay the pick-ups and drop offs. There is no question that several industries and companies are dealing with a shortage of workers but for Principal Roy Kane of Notre Dame Elementary and Junior/Senior High School, this decision is unacceptable.

Kane wrote in his email that the decision to delay transportation services was made without any prior notification or input from the Utica City School District or Notre Dame Schools. Principal Kane said he will continue to be in constant contact with Durham Bus Services to work on a remedy to the issue. In the meantime Kane says,

We are in negotiations with Birnie Bus Services to facilitate transportation of students residing in the Herkimer and Rome areas as well as transportation in support of athletics and other school-wide activities.

A representative from Utica City Schools did not comment on the issue and we expect to learn more information and hopefully get more answers from Durham Bus Services at the press conference later today. No doubt an hour delay on both ends of the school day will cause significant issues in some cases for parents and guardians. The staffing shortages across the country, likely due to COVID-19, is causing issues for businesses of all sizes.

The busing issue has been a headache for Utica Schools for quite some time as they've been sued by and are now counter-suing Birnie Bus due to contract issues.

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