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Prince George's families adjust to school bus driver shortage

One parent told WUSA9 no school bus came to pick up her son at his bus stop Wednesday.

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. — Prince George’s County Public Schools is the latest school system to say it is experiencing a bus driver shortage.

Parents across the Maryland county have been reporting delays in buses coming to pick up their children from school.

In Hyattsville, one elementary school parent told WUSA9 his kid’s bus arrived 45 minutes late to it assigned stop.

In Greenbelt, WUSA9 also saw buses picking up students at an elementary school more than an hour-and-a-half after school ended for the day.

Another Prince George’s County parent named Karen Barnett said her son’s school miscategorized him as a “walker” and have not allowed him to take the bus.

She said he now has to walk more than a mile down busy roads to get to school

"Wheeler Road and St. Barnabas Road is filled with a lot of traffic all day long and it's just an accident waiting to happen,” she said.

In a statement, released Thursday, a spokesperson for Prince George’s County Public Schools said the district understands parents’ frustrations.

The statement added a bus driver shortage is to blame for the issue.

“Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) is continuing to work through bus driver shortages and recruitment challenges along with the problems that tend to accompany the first few weeks of school,” the statement reads.

Other school districts have reported similar problems lately.

Both Fairfax County and Stafford County Public Schools said they have shortages too.

Either way, Barnett believes her school district should change its recruitment strategy to attract new drivers.

“I’m not sure what’s going on with the bus system,” she said. “If they’re not paying enough, if they’re trying to do all these background checks, but they need to jump on that fast.”