School bus delays becoming a big problem for Lehi families

LEHI, Utah - Some parents claim school buses are constantly running late, others not showing up at all.

"I can't leave work because I'm not sure when the bus is going to come or if it will ever come," Natalie Ellis said, mother of five, three of which take the school bus.

She said at times her kids will wait 10 or 15 minutes before the bus will arrive and twice this year, she claims it hasn't shown up at all.

"I took her to school today and she barely made it," Beth Monroe said, another mother who said the exchange student living with her waited outside for 15 minutes Tuesday before Monroe just went and got her.

The Alpine School District says it knows about the problem.

"Our difficulties range for a number of reasons," Kimberly Bird said, Alpine School District Spokesperson.

"One, we have a lot of road construction on Redwood Rd." Bird said the construction was adding to the delays. "Two, we are struggling for drivers."

Alpine is the largest district in the state, responsible for transporting 22,000 students. Bird says it's tough to find enough drivers to fill all the routes.

"We have to say, 'Bus 36, we have added two more routes to your busy route schedule,'" Bird said of other drivers picking up the slack.

However, that creates another problem. When a driver hits traffic or has a mechanical issue, it now impacts more students, since drivers are picking up more routes.

"We'll train people," Bird said of those interested in becoming drivers.

Low unemployment rates mean workers have the pick of the litter when it comes to jobs.

That's why Bird says the district has recently raised drivers' salaries to $16 per hour.

In addition, they will now train drivers to get their Commercial Driver's License.

In the meantime, the district says people can keep an eye on its Twitter account @ASDBus for up-to-the-minute updates on bus delays.