VISTA — The Vista Unified School District reduced its student transportation capacity just before the start of the school year due to a shortage of school bus drivers.
At the Aug. 11 Board of Education meeting, the trustees approved adjustments to transportation routes following a staff report indicating a shortage of drivers.
As of the meeting, the district had filled 29 driver positions but needed an additional 16 to cover all of its designated student routes. Recruitment is ongoing but time ran out to fill those positions before the first day of school on Wednesday.
As of now, the district is offering only one high school shuttle for Mission Vista; three middle school shuttles for Madison, Rancho Minerva and Roosevelt; and three elementary school routes for Breeze Hill, Grapevine and Mission Meadows.
Superintendent Matt Doyle said an alternative shuttle would go to Monte Vista Elementary if Grapevine doesn’t work out.
“We don’t know at this time whether we could (make Grapevine work) or not,” Doyle said. “We may be able to but it’s also up to the function of the routes and how the routes intersect.”
Staff will continue to work with the Vista Unified Council of Parent Teacher Associations (VUCPTA) to host carpool meetings that connect families and explore implementing a “Walking School Bus Program,” which involves students walking to school together with one or more adults.
Parents can also relocate their student to the school closest to home if their transportation routes have been paused.
More on Vista school bus route updates at vistausd.org.