Amid bus driver shortage, Paw Paw calls on parents to get kids to games

Van Buren County

PAW PAW, Mich. (WOOD) — Paw Paw Public School District administrators are calling on parents to help them out of a jam, with the ongoing bus driver shortage causing problems when trying to get athletes to games.

“It’s frustrating… not just for the school district,” Superintendent Rick Reo said. “It’s for every family that’s affected.”

Beginning Monday, according to a letter sent to athletes’ parents, the district told them they “will not be in a position to guarantee bus transportation for your student-athlete to and from out-of-town athletic events.”

According to Transportation Director Angela Vasquez, Paw Paw currently has 15 drivers and needs four more to be fully staffed.

Reo added that the drivers each have two runs.

“Any of those bus drivers are not available until after 4:45 in the afternoon,” Reo explained. “Any of our athletic trips that leave before that time, we’re going to have trouble finding a driver to take that.”

His letter said “families should be prepared to make transportation arrangements for individual contests” through carpools and ridesharing.

Reo said the district will be able to take athletes to some events, depending on two factors:

“The size of the team. Can we utilize our two school vans to transport a team?” he said. “Then the time of day that we need those teams to leave in order to get to their away event… That varies by sport because there are common start times for games.”

Paw Paw athletics administrators said no games, events or competitions were postponed to another day or canceled because of the driver shortage and scheduling situations. However, certain events have had to be bumped back 15 minutes to accommodate the drivers and give teams adequate time to warm up.

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