Parents concerned about late buses in Forsyth County

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- What time does your child get home from school? For some Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools parents, it’s too late.

School officials tell FOX8 the root of the problem is the lack of bus drivers.

The school system has to split routes and double up just to keep up with the more than 32,000 kids who ride buses each day.

“She’s late every day,” Michele Rudiger said.

She doesn’t know how late her daughter’s bus from Reynolds High School will be each day.

Sometimes, it’s later than others.

“When it’s 7 o’clock and your 13-year-old is still not home,” Rudiger said, that’s when she begins to worry.

Rudiger thinks something needs to change.

“Her morning buses are on time every day, why can’t it be like that in the afternoon?” she said.

WSFCS officials know it’s a problem.

“It’s been an issue, not just for us but for a lot of districts across the state and country, to find enough bus drivers,” Assistant Superintendent of Operations Darrell Walker said.

He says they’re doing their best under the circumstances.

“On a regular day, a driver should be running three routes a day. They’re running an average of 5.6,” Walker said. “They’re doubling their workload a bit, making sure kids get picked up and they get them home.”

The solution? Hiring more drivers.

“We’re somewhere in the 340s and we need around 360 drivers. We’re some 20 short,” he said. “That plus the absenteeism really puts a lot of pressure on us. Around 50 drivers or so a day that we need to replaces somewhere, some way.”

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