PANAMA CITY, FLA. (WMBB) — The Bay District School System officially decided to decrease school bus routes and end courtesy rides for students that live within two miles of their school, among other decisions at their school board meeting.
The courtesy rides cost the district $600,000 each year, but the biggest issue Bay District Schools is facing is a shortage in bus drivers.
After voting against the removal of courtesy routes last month, School Board Member Brenda Ruthven decided to vote for the cut in routes.
“The change for me is, we do need bus drivers for the district,” Ruthven said. “And I do understand the routing of it. I’m still concerned because we’re asking students that live within two miles of the school to now walk.”
By removing the courtesy routes, the district is taking away 25-30 routes, which could affect hundreds of students.
If the new policy proves to be detrimental to students this coming school year, Ruthven plans to re-vote on the courtesy bus routes.
However, if the district can hire bus drivers before the school year begins, the courtesy routes could be re-implemented.