Rideshare drivers are raising concerns after the city’s school district cut bus service to some buildings due to shortages of bus drivers
ST. LOUIS (KMOV) — Less than a week remains before St. Louis Public Schools open for the first day. That gives parents less than a week to figure out how to get their kids to school after the district announced the suspension of some bus services earlier this week. Today, a group of drivers are concerned that the burden will be placed on their lap, which is against company policy.
“I’m a single mom. I don’t have anyone here who can pick her up,” Kallie Goodsite said.
Goodsite is one of thousands of SLPS parents struggling to find a way to get their children to and from school.
“I mean, what am I supposed to do?” Goodsite asked.
On Monday, the district announced that eight schools will have no bus service. Instead, those families could get a $75 gas card, a free subway bus pass, or call a rideshare like Uber or Lyft.
“Some of these pilots don’t want that responsibility,” said Drew Bergmark.
Bergmark has been driving for Uber for over three years. Just like TJ Shamon.
“He’s a loser for the drivers,” Shamon explained.
Between the two local Uber drivers, they have over 26,000 rides. They said taking someone who is alone and under the age of 18 is prohibited.
“It’s against Uber policy to have an unaccompanied minor in my car. I’m not supposed to drive them,” Shamon said.
News 4 asked SLPS about it after Superintendent Kelvin Adams offered it as an option to parents earlier this week.
“We also at least reached out to Uber and Lyft. For us, it was something we couldn’t do,” said SLPS’ George Sells.
Despite backtracking on this option, district leaders remain optimistic, saying they have nearly 40 drivers waiting to take their commercial driver’s license exam.
“It’s a situation where really the bottleneck is at the DMV. We’re doing everything we can to speed this up as much as possible, and it’s just about trying to fix it,” Sells explained.
However, some Uber drivers still fear the onus will fall on them, forcing them to cancel rides when they realize a passenger is below the policy’s age limit.
So far, before the first day of SLPS on Monday, they have over 30 routes discovered.
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