Bus drivers who transport Anne Arundel County Public Schools students are continuing their strike in the Maryland county Tuesday.
The drivers who work for Annapolis Bus Co., a contractor for the school system, are not showing up for work amid an ongoing dispute with the company.
The drivers, who are not school employees, are demanding better pay and benefits. The strike comes as the company and school systems around the D.C region are dealing with an ongoing driver shortage.
The strike involves 28 buses and 77 school routes at 37 schools, said Bob Mosier, the school system’s spokesman, on Tuesday morning, calling it a “very frustrating situation” for the school system, students and their families.
Here is the list of affected bus routes.
The school system is asking families to arrange rides.
While Mosier could not give an exact number of students affected by the Annapolis Bus Co. strike, he said conservatively, that it is at least 2,000. Mosier said the school system contracts out most of its bus services. The school system has about 585 buses running 1,730 trips or routes in the morning and afternoon.
“I don’t know a lot about the issues between the bus company and its drivers. But this is an issue between a bus contractor and the drivers that it employs,” Mosier said Tuesday.
“Our students and our families are very unfortunately caught in the middle of it and are suffering because of it. We we have spoken with the bus company and urge them to do whatever they can to get their drivers back on the road because we need our students transported to and from school.”
Jennifer Novak, whose daughter attends school in Anne Arundel County, said while her daughter’s bus was running normally, that wasn’t the case for buses her friends’ children take.
“Oh, it’s extremely frustrating because No. 1, you have no idea if the bus is coming or not. It’s like, what’s going to happen today? Is the bus coming? Is the bus not coming? Do I need a backup plan? Do I not need a backup plan?” Novak said.
Novak said for children, not knowing if you will be able to get to school can create anxiety.
This is the second day of the strike.
Thousands of students who take the bus to school were out of luck Monday.
Mosier on Monday said the job action was a surprise to school officials.
“We don’t have spare drivers,” Mosier said. “We’re in a driver shortage just like every other school system in our region.”
WTOP’s Colleen Kelleher and Kate Ryan contributed to this report.