The School District of Philadelphia continues to struggle with transportation problems because of a bus driver shortage. Superintendent Dr. William Hite, Jr. says the tiered bell schedule put in place at the beginning of the school year is not enough to fix the problem. So, the district came up with another plan, pay parents to drive their kids to and from school.
All eligible families who enroll in the Parent Flat Rate Program will get $300 a month for dropping their kids off and picking them up. That’s $3,000 for the school year. The program also offers a new option for parents who can only drop off in the morning. Eligible families who drive their kids to school and use bus or cab service in the afternoon will get $150 a month.
Fill out this form to enroll.
SEPTA Student Fare Cards have been given to students eligible for bus, van, or cab service. Dr. Hite says the district is talking to SEPTA about providing fare cards to adults to help with transportation for families who do not drive.
The district has also hired eight temporary staff members at the Transportation Call Center to help with the high volume of calls it’s been getting. Hite says they are also meeting with external vendors and community partners who may be able to support the district’s transportation needs.
In a letter sent to parents, Dr. Hite apologized for the service disruption. He says the district realizes the driver shortage has very real consequences for students, families, and staff. Hite says the district is taking the matter very seriously.
If you or someone you know would like to drive a bus you can apply here.