LEWISTON — Every morning for much of the past school year, Lewiston families received an early morning call notifying which, if any, bus runs would not operate that day.

More often than not, at least one bus was canceled.

The start to the new school year, so far, isn’t looking much different.

Wednesday marked the first day of school for Lewiston students in grades one through nine. Those in grades 10, 11 and 12 returned Thursday.

Bus 17 and bus 25 have been canceled both days, impacting students who attend Geiger Elementary School, Montello Elementary School, Lewiston Middle School and the high school.

In July, Hudson Bus Lines, which provides transportation services for the Lewiston school district, was down 19 drivers, Langais said at a School Committee meeting last month. As of Aug. 15, there were three open positions.


Although the situation is looking more positive than just a few months prior, Langlais warned that there would still be disruptions.

Langlais confirmed Thursday that the district is likely to see daily bus cancellations continue.

New this year, the school district is staggering start times for elementary schools to transport more students using fewer buses and reduce transportation disruptions. Still, the change hasn’t been enough.

Jessica Snee, the mother of a Montello second grader who is supposed to ride Bus 25, said she’s frustrated by the continued transportation cancellations.

“Why would they not switch up the buses that have to be canceled?” she asked. “Two days of the same bus (cancellation) is ridiculous. I am lucky to be able to bring her if need be, for now; that won’t always be the case.”

She said she knows of two families that have been unable to get their kids to school the past two days because of the cancellations.

But in some cases, the district has been able to arrange alternative transportation at parents’ requests.

Shannon Buck doesn’t own a car and said it would have been a struggle to get her daughter to Geiger the past couple of days had the school not transported her to and from school in a van. Buck’s daughter is also assigned to Bus 25.

Across the Androscoggin River, the Auburn school district, which started an in-house bus driver training program this spring, has said that they have only a couple open driver positions left to fill after struggling with the same problem last year. The district has not canceled any buses in its first two days of class.

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