Transportation Update
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Important Updates to Student Bus Transportation

Important Updates to Student Bus Transportation

Week of September 24, 2018:

When severe weather is possible, Minneapolis Public Schools monitor the forecast from the National Weather Service.  Severe weather, such as thunderstorm watches and warnings or tornado watches and warnings, can impact bus service. Click here to read more about bus safety during severe weather.

Week of September 17, 2018:

In the first weeks of school, Transportation processed over 6,100 changes to bus routing requested by families and schools. MPS continues to cover additional routes, in the midst of our driver shortage, as our contractors are also experiencing staffing shortages. On average, we continue to cover as many as 28 routes a day that were unscheduled.

Due to the ongoing shortage of drivers and until the situation changes, schools are asked to not schedule field trips that require return bus transportation after 1:30 p.m. Transportation Services will provide buses for field trips already scheduled with that later return time, but cannot provide them going forward until further notice. To repeat, field trips already scheduled with a return time later than 1:30 p.m. arrival will be honored. Newly requested field trips will not.

Transportation for athletic games will be the next priority for coverage after daily morning and afternoon school transportation.

We’ve searched for other solutions but are unable to find a way, given the scarcity of bus drivers, to provide this late afternoon service for field trips. Transportation Services has attempted to find other providers beyond our current contractors to fulfill these needs, but there simply isn’t much availability throughout the system to accommodate at this point. This restriction will be in place until further notice. Thank you for understanding. 

We’re sorry to report the Here Comes The Bus pilot implementation date has been delayed again due to installation issues related to critical GPS tracking. Here Comes The Bus is an app families can use to track the real-time location of their student(s). GPS tracking for bus routes is much more complicated than GPS tracking used every day to navigate individuals around the city and we have to get this right. As soon as we have a new pilot date, we will let you know.

September 12, 2018:

Monday was what we call a ”route change day,” where the previous three days’ busing changes are implemented. Changes are made, for example, if buses can’t get to a stop on time, addresses change and or students are added to the route. These kinds of changes can impact bus times slightly as drivers and students get used to the new routes and routines.

In the first weeks of school, Transportation processed over 6,100 changes to bus routing requested by families and schools. We expect some of the Transportation system issues to ease this week as students and new drivers become more familiar with their routes. That being said, we are still covering as many as 20 routes each morning and afternoon for our contractors due to their bus driver shortages.

We will see some ongoing delays in transporting students to and from schools due to the continued staffing shortages at MPS Transportation, the District Communications Center, and with the bus companies with whom we contract. Like many Metro area school districts, Minneapolis Public Schools is coping with an industry-wide bus driver shortage which is especially acute in the Twin Cities due to our tight local labor market. We apologize for the frustrations this has caused our students, families and school staff and realize the level of service needs to improve. Please know we are working hard to resolve issues, but there are many factors out of our control. please see our Transportation Services Improvement Plan for more details.

We're working to keep MPS families in the loop! Transportation Services and IT Services have been working to fully implement a GPS-based vehicle tracking system, which will provide real-time location of your student's bus. Click the link to read more about Here Comes The Bus.