Additional funding would only be beneficial if HCPSS believed that additional buses and drivers would be available to run more routes. The Office of Student Transportation has no indication from its contractors at this point that they would be able to exceed the 478 routes anticipated to provide transportation to students who live in transportation areas and registered for the service. HCPSS’ bus contractors anticipate they will be able to fulfill the 478 routes, but it is important to reiterate that Howard County, along with other counties in the state and across the nation, has experienced a significant shortage of drivers for several years so receiving additional funding for additional routes is not a solution.
Instead, this would likely result in routes not being covered due to the inability to conduct double bus runs to schools. This would create significant hardships for families expecting a bus that cannot be provided.
In short, additional funding is not a viable solution and may result in other unintended consequences.