Athletic Transportation Update
Dear Parents, Guardians, Supporters, Coaches, and Spartan Student-Athletes:
Earlier this week, we received information from our bus company that the bus driver shortage was going to create additional challenges for the Uxbridge Athletic Department. Earlier this year, we were given information that we would be allowed only two buses for athletics at 2:30 p.m., which created some scheduling challenges and necessitated significant work on adjusting game times with a number of our opponents. This week, we received word that, as of October 1, we would have access to a single bus at 2:30 p.m. and all other buses after 4:00 p.m.
The reasons for the bus driver shortage are consistent with what districts across the country are facing. For our bus company alone, dispatchers, mechanics, and management have all been driving buses, but the staff has been stretched incredibly thin and safety has been compromised, particularly as some buses have needed maintenance and crews have been on the road rather than working on the buses. Additionally, dispatchers, when on the road, are not in the bus depot, which compromises two-way communication in the event of road incident, accident, or other unfortunate circumstance. We appreciate that the bus company has been working on getting additional drivers certified, but the process is long and arduous, with many drivers who begin the process unable to finish it.
We have started the process of rescheduling, looking at school half days, later start times for fields that have lighting, and weekend dates. It is entirely plausible that we may be reaching out to families to consider car-pool efforts for games, which is the practice at some other local schools, particularly for middle and intermediate school athletics, as varsity competitions are prioritized. We are also looking to maximize our school vehicle fleet. Unfortunately, the options are scant and cooperation needed to make the best of the situation - particularly as the daylight hours start to reduce heading into the fall season.
We will do our best to keep families, coaches, and student-athletes as informed as we can. Please know that we will continue to do all we can to keep our programs viable, even through difficult circumstances beyond our control.