COVID-19 Effect On the Bus Driving Shortage

Due+to+the+fallout+of+COVID-19%2C+there+has+been+a+shortage+of+bus+drivers%2C+affecting+both+students+and+sports+teams.

Amelia Jacob

Due to the fallout of COVID-19, there has been a shortage of bus drivers, affecting both students and sports teams.

Gabrielle Rothenberg, Staff Writer

When the opposing tennis teams’ bus was delayed about an hour, the tennis match ended later than usual. Pascack Valley Senior Abbi Uhl got home late, which gave her less time to do homework and to study. 

“One time it was an hour delay and a game that would have been done at five got out at six,” Uhl said.

PV Freshman Taylor Ferrari said that homework and studying can take one and a half to two hours a night. She said that on nights with cheer she usually isn’t in bed until 10:30 or 11. If everything was pushed back an hour like it was for Uhl she would not be in bed until 11:30 or midnight.

The bus driver shortage has been another fallout from COVID-19. This issue is affecting our school in a variety of aspects including sports transportation, staff workloads and more generally as an overall inconvenience. 

“This shortage has changed how Pascack Valley sports teams travel,” PV Athletic Director Shawn Buchanan said. “In previous years, our school would use the Scholastic Bus Company to provide bussing, but that has not always been an option this year.” Buchanan went on to explain that as a result they had to change the entire transportation schedule and use Charter company.

No sports events have had to be canceled due to the shortage.

Freshman Jillian Feeley said that the volleyball team usually takes a Coach bus. However, one time, when only the freshman team was going, they took a short Scholastic bus instead.

At the start of the year, the Girls Tennis Team was using the Scholastic Bus Company, but because of the shortage they switched to using the district van.

Buchanan said smaller teams switched to using the district van and tennis is one of those teams. 

“Smaller teams with smaller rosters are able to use the district bus and the district van. If it’s a larger team, just because of space on a bus, you would need a larger bus or van, it would just come down to roster space,” Buchanan said.

Given the van’s smaller capacity, the team had to cut down on the number of girls they could bring to matches. 

“The downside [of going to matches in vans] is I can only bring 8 [players] versus 10, or 12, or 14,” PV Girls tennis Coach Casey Gotlife said.

Uhl said that the van is very squishy and is similar to the stands at a football game, where you have no personal space.