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Transportation Update: Jan. 25, 2023

Transportation Update: Jan. 25, 2023

Dear Duluth Public Schools families, 

On Jan. 25, we had to cancel two morning bus routes and two afternoon bus routes due to staffing issues. I want to take this opportunity to explain why these routes were canceled and what our processes are to avoid these situations. I also want to apologize to students and families who were negatively impacted. 

Bus routes on the western side of our district are covered by Duluth Public Schools transportation staff and the eastern side of our district is covered by Voyager Bus, who we contract with.

When bus drivers call in because they are unable to work that day, we begin looking for substitute drivers who can fill in. We contact our list of substitute drivers as well as Voyager to see if someone can fill in. Our transportation managers and others often step up on a regular basis to cover routes. We do whatever we can to make sure all routes are covered every day. 

Unfortunately, today we were not able to fill all of our routes and Voyager was unable to help due to the number of call-ins they had this morning. 

Due to staffing shortages in the transportation department — which has been an issue for many schools throughout the state — many of our bus drivers are already “doubled up” on routes in the morning and afternoon. This is what caused multiple routes to be canceled this morning. 

Another issue is some drivers do not cover the same routes in the morning and afternoon. This is something the transportation department is working to rectify so multiple routes are not affected when shortages occur. 

We hope this letter answers many of the questions you have regarding our transportation process and procedures. If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out by emailing

In the meantime, if you or anyone you know is willing to be a bus driver, we would greatly appreciate your assistance. Wages for regular drivers start at $21.08 per hour plus excellent benefits; we offer a flexible schedule, or hourly on-call work. Duluth Public Schools will pay for and provide training to obtain a CDL license.

Thank you for your understanding during this time. 


John Magas


Duluth Public Schools