The Montgomery County (Md.) district has asked the National Guard to provide drivers to ease a critical bus driver shortage brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
If the request is granted, the National Guard personnel would cover routes for drivers who are out sick because of the latest outbreak of the Covid-19 Omicron variant, reports WBAL Newsradio.
On Wednesday, the district said staffing shortages resulted in 40 to 80 routes being canceled.
Earl Stoddard, the Assistant Chief Administrative Officer of Montgomery County, says the district put in a request last week for 200 troops and then contacted the Maryland Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, reports WTTG Channel 5 News.
Stoddard said most of the National Guard troops who are qualified to drive buses are either being used for other tasks throughout the state or not available.
The district serves more than 162,000 students and operates 1,400 buses.