Transportation delays frustrated parents on the first day of the Monroe County Community School Corp. after Auxilio Services, the new corporate bus fleet employed by the district, filled only 18 of its 42 routes.
As of last week, Auxilio told the district it had 32 drivers ready to go for the first day of school. According to MCCSC spokesman Andrew Clampitt on Wednesday evening, that number included several drivers from Michigan, the state in which Auxilio is headquartered.
"For whatever reason, they weren't able to do that, provide those drivers," Clampitt said. When the district was ready to put buses on the road this morning, only 18 Auxilio routes were filled. MCCSC used every one of its 20 or so substitute drivers, along with several members of its maintenance staff who have commercial driver's licenses and the appropriate training. The district was also short four of its own drivers, due to sudden illness or other personal reasons, and had to cover those routes as well.
The result was that many routes were doubled up and pick-up and drop-off times were later than planned, with some students arriving home 90 minutes after their parents expected them to be home. It was not the smooth start the district hoped for last week, with a driver shortage that compounded the usual, smaller delays and hiccups of the first day of the school year.
A representative at Auxilio's local office, located at 1131 Air Drive, declined comment for this story.