THORNAPPLE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A Middleville school district is cancelling some bus routes and creating a walking zone for students because of what it calls “driver shortages.”

Thornapple Kellogg Schools announced in a press release Wednesday that they would be “creating more group bus stops, altering routes, eliminating bus stops or entire routes, and creating a walking zone.”

The new walking zone would span from M-37 on the east, Bender Road and Lloyd Court on the west, Misty Ridge Drive on the south, and Towne Center Drive on the north. It includes Towne Center Townhouses/Apartments, Rolling Oaks Estates, Seneca Ridge, the Downs, and Misty Ridge.

The release included the following map:

A map shows Thornapple Kellogg Schools new walking zone. (Aug. 4, 2022)

According to the district, transportation route changes stem from a drive shortage caused by drivers retiring over summer break, leaving the workforce for family reasons, and leaving the education industry. That left TK Schools “far below” the number of staff members they needed to operate.

The district said that despite offering bonuses and attendance incentives, it has not been able to fully staff bus routes with drivers and there have not been enough “qualified applicants.”

TK Schools says next week, families will receive details about changes to their transportation for the coming school year. However, it says it will continue to work on fully staffing its transportation department in the meantime.

The district asked that anyone who is interested in driving for TK Schools to visit its district website. Previous bus driving experience is not required, and drivers will receive free Commercial Driver’s License training.