Chronic bus cancellations

School Buses have been getting repeatedly canceled since early December courtesy of ThoseGuys119 // Flickr

Anuska Pandey, Staff Writer

“Good afternoon TJ, It’s time for your daily bus cancellations”. A phrase that has been heard almost every day at Jefferson for months, and is immediately followed by groans, the rolling of eyes, and “Again?”.

“I was very annoyed to say the least. 102 was a good bus.” freshman Nikhil Alladi said.

There are a number of buses that are being regularly canceled such as JT-102, JT-400, and Wolftrap. The administration then has the students ride another bus that goes to a similar area. But why are they being canceled in the first place?

“They’re not being canceled, what they’re doing is being consolidated.” Safety & Security Specialist Mr. McCormick said.


The number of bus drivers in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has rapidly decreased almost 20% over the past couple of years. With this, some buses go on what is known as double runs, which is when a driver drops off students at one destination and then immediately goes to pick up another bunch, which can lead to the bus being late consistently. Students have had to adapt to these changes, and several of them enjoy the merging as it allows them to be with their friends.

“I wish [the cancellations] didn’t happen, but I do think they are necessary with the amount of bus shortages.” Alladi said.

The shortage has been an issue since before COVID, mainly due to retirements, difficulty recruiting new drivers, but now, with the pandemic still very active, this lack of manpower is more obvious than ever.

“I think drivers were in the same situation [as us] and they said you know what? If I think that this is a dangerous domain, and that’s an older population which was a population that was most affected early on with COVID. I think they decided to retire or leave and protect their health.” said Mr. McCormick

Fairfax is not the only county experiencing this. Arlington, Loudon, Prince William, and multiple other counties in Northern Virginia have also seen a decline in bus drivers in the past 10 years.

“It’s not just Fairfax County, Arlington County’s in the same boat. Loudoun County’s in the same boat. Prince William County’s in the same boat. Everybody is in the same boat.” Mr. McCormick said.

This situation has been hard on the county and it’s drivers. With over 150 thousand students that need to be transported each day, and fewer and fewer drivers to get them there, getting kids to and from school is an extremely difficult task. Still, while this situation is less than ideal, our drivers and transportation services have done a great job at making sure that students are comfortable in their transitions from home to school and back.

“We all owe [the drivers] a big debt of thanks. It’s a massive job. And they do it really, really well.” Mr. McCormick said.