Photo 6370557 © Hans Magelssen |

Bus transportation troubles force Jefferson County (Kentucky) district to cancel classes Thursday and Friday

Aug. 11, 2023
Many of the district's 96,000 students arrived home hours late on Wednesday because of the problems.

The Jefferson County (Kentucky) district canceled classes Thursday and Friday after a "transportation disaster" caused many children to arrive home hours late.

The Louisville Courier Journal reports that the district warned that it could cancel classes as late as Sunday night if the necessary fixes aren't made in time.

"We need to complete a thorough review of every bus stop and bus route and implement changes as necessary," district spokeswoman Carolyn Callahan said. "We need to make sure every bus rider has a bus stop that they can safely walk to. We must have full confidence from our drivers and with our drivers that they know their routes and can complete them in time to get to their next route."

The district has about 13,000 bus stops spread over its roughly 600 routes. It transports about 70% of its about 96,000 students across the 380-square-mile county each day. More than a dozen of those schools' routes cover two-thirds of the county.

Jefferson County was using a a new bus routing system designed by AlphaRoute, a consulting company that uses artificial intelligence to map out courses and stops. The aim was to have a smaller number of routes so that there wouldn't be a need for as many bus drivers following a shortage last year.

The district also switched from two to nine staggered school start times, with dismissals running from 2:20 through 4:20 p.m.

John Hanlon, the CEO of AlphaRoute, said the problems were "likely caused by the significant changes to bus routing which were made necessary by the district's severe driver shortage."

Delays at the bus compounds in the afternoon, when students transfer from one bus to another, was "one major issue," Callahan said.

Video from Jefferson County School Supt. Marty Pollio:

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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