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Muni Bus Driver Shortage Prompts Schools' Warning Of Possible Delays

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- The San Francisco Unified School District and some of its individual campuses are warning students, parents and staff that local bus service delays could mean delays getting to and from school Monday - the district's first day of classes for the 2018-19 school year.

A message on the district website, and websites of several individual public schools reads, "An operator shortage has resulted in Muni delays across San Francisco, which Muni is working on addressing. Students and staff who ride Muni may experience delays getting to and from school."

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, commonly known as Muni, acknowledges it needs to get more drivers and light-rail operators on the road to improve service. Among the steps it says it is taking are converting approximately 60 part-time operators to full-time; increasing the size of all operator training classes; and certifying more than 200 operators to pilot the agency's newest LRV-4 light-rail cars.

Though the school district partners with school bus service First Student Inc. to provide yellow-bus service to and from each school, many district students ride Muni buses. Muni estimates that half of the San Francisco school district's 57,000 students use public buses or light rail to get to and from school each day.

The district says every middle school and high school in the San Francisco district is served by at least one Muni route.

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