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Families prepare for Edmond bus route cuts

Bus routes are going to be cut for neighborhoods that are less than a mile from five schools in the Edmond School District. (KOKH/Will Maetzold)

Ten-year-old Matthew McCoy has made it his routine to get on the bus everyday on his way to John Ross Elementary School in Edmond.

But because of a driver shortage in the Edmond School District, his route is being cut and his family is getting ready to make adjustments.

"It's going to be really hard adjusting to three different schedules," Alexis McCoy, his sister said. "Instead of just trusting 'he's on the bus, we'll be home when he gets on the bus and gets off the bus.' So it's going to be rough."

With two parents who work and a sister in college, it's going to be hard to find time to stop by the elementary school.

"My dad is going to have to try to get both of us to school at a certain time and then get himself to work," Alexis McCoy said. "I know he has a lot of early interviews."

But the Edmond School District said it has no other choice because of a lack of bus drivers. The district is currently down by nearly 30 drivers entering the school year.

"We have been aggressively advertising and looking for drivers," district spokesperson Susan Parks-Schlepp said. "It's just come down to a critical situation, a critical shortage right now."

Parks-Schlepp said it's actually a trend that's happening across the country.

For the McCoy's, they said it still means a lot to them. The walk to school is about 10 to 15 minutes and they said they don't like the idea of Matthew doing it alone.

"It's definitely a shock," Alexis McCoy said. "My brother made some of his closest friends on the bus and I don't know how often he'll see them now."

The Edmond School District is still recruiting bus drivers to fill the open positions.

In total, 10 neighborhoods that are less than a mile from a school will be affected.

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