Over 140 school bus routes are being canceled in Seattle on Monday due to a driver shortage caused by vaccine mandates.
The routes are suspended indefinitely and will impact roughly 7,000 students.
Washington’s Democrat Governor Jay Inslee has mandated vaccines for all state workers and contractors — which includes bus drivers. Over 100 drivers are expected to be fired on Monday for not complying.
“Due to the district’s bus shortage, Greenwood’s general education bus route will no longer be in service starting Monday, October 18th. We understand the major impact this has on our school community. We faced this issue last spring when we reopened, and our families were resilient and found ways to support safe walking routes to school each day,” Greenwood Elementary School’s principal wrote in an email to parents obtained by local station KIRO.
Their report continued on to say that Seattle Public Schools might have to cut as much as “two-thirds of its general education bus routes because not enough drivers were complying with the state’s vaccine mandate.”
Some of the schools are resorting to trying to get school children passes for public transportation to solve the problem that the governor created.
“It’s our hope that the staffing shortages faced by First Student will be resolved as quickly as possible so we can resume – and improve upon – all bus service,” SPS Assistant Superintendent of Operations Fred Podesta in a statement, according to King 5 News. “In the meantime, we are actively looking for alternative solutions to this challenge, such as the expanded provision of ORCA transit passes for middle school students, and other modes of transportation.”