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Press Release: Transportation Update- New Route Suspension Rotation | October 7, 2021

FNSBSD: Press Release:  Transportation Update- New Route Suspension Rotation- Families-10/7/21

The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District and Durham continue to work together daily to minimize the impact of transportation disruptions on district families.  Despite the diligent work, our partnership has faced ongoing challenges.  

Nationwide staffing shortages, training delays, COVID issues, and weather are some of the issues that affect routes.  Any one of these issues can cause a ripple effect throughout the system that creates issues for routes that may not seem connected at all.  Both entities are working together to continue to manage each situation as they arise while revising the plan to provide more stability in the future.  

While Durham has hired and trained more drivers, one of the most recent issues to impact pupil transportation is the higher than normal rate of driver absenteeism.  Driver absenteeism is higher than average which puts the number of available drivers below the number needed for the current planned routes.

As a result, starting Monday, October 11, 2021, all bus routes will be placed on a suspension rotation list every other week for the foreseeable future.  We are hopeful that this will help alleviate some of the last minute cancellations that families and schools are dealing with in the recent weeks. 

Special Education routes will run as normal.

Thank you to our families for working together to overcome the effects of route suspensions and last minute changes.  Please continue to communicate your concerns as we shift our plans.  Specific information is helpful for making decisions in these constantly changing situations.   

To all of the employers that have been gracious to our families during this time of transportation uncertainty, we extend our gratitude for your patience and understanding.  

We commend our students for staying positive through yet another disruption to their school experience.  Your ability to continue to focus on your education and those things that are going right in your daily life is a testament to your resiliency.  

To the bus drivers and Durham staff that continue to show up to work every day, thank you for being there for our students.   

Last but certainly not least, thank you to our staff who are constantly shifting, changing, and revising how they do their jobs with the grace and professionalism that make us proud every day.

The district continues to assess and pursue long term solutions to this nationwide problem brought to us by the COVID pandemic.  Our transportation team is working with all district departments, Durham and reaching out to community resources to put into place solutions that will stabilize pupil transportation issues for our families.  The Fairbanks area community is known for sticking together in hard times and we are confident that we will come through this pandemic as a stronger community.

New Route Suspension Rotation

For more information contact: Yumi McCulloch, Director of Public Relations, yumi.mcculloch@k12northstar.org