Viaduct Closure to Affect School Buses
The Alaskan Way Viaduct will be closed from January 11 to reroute Highway 99 into the new tunnel. And this may affect the school bus timing. The Public School buses are anticipating a delay of more than an hour owing to the closure.
The district website states that virtually all schools would be affected and families of the children and school staff should plan for the extra traffic and congestion on the road.
The new Highway 99 is scheduled to open after three weeks.
As per the Seattle Public School’s spokesperson Tim Robinson, there was a shortage of school bus drivers here in this region, and they would have to start their journey 30 minutes earlier than usual time.
In a statement by the district officials, the families of the children who will be affected by the closure will be contacted informing them about the delay in pick-up and drop off.
It should be reported here that nearly 25 percent of the total 52,000 students in public school are dependent on the yellow buses. As the district public school bus contractor, First Student has been struggling to hire school bus drivers, parents have been experiencing delays in school bus timing in recent times.
After the district tied up with another contractor for supplementary service, there was a slight improvement in the punctuality of Public school buses. As per sources, on December 21st, the last day of school before winter break, the district estimated the school bus delay starting from 20 minutes to two hours.
The bus contractor, First Student, has said that it believed that it would have hired the required number of drivers by the end of January.
It’s indeed a sign of an efficient government that they announced about the anticipated delay due to the route closure. But, this is not the perfect way to handle the situation. Dealing with school going children for whom time is the most precious thing, other alternative arrangements should be provided to facilitate smooth bus transition even with the closure.