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Guilford County Schools partnership with public transit continues a month later

The Greensboro Transit Agency says ridership is up among students. GCS parents say they're adjusting their schedules to drop students off at school.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — For weeks, many Guilford County high school students have boarded city buses to get to class. It's part of a nationwide school bus driver shortage.

GCS is partnering with the Greensboro Transit Agency to ease the blow. One month later, students are still taking city buses, with no end in sight.

The City of Greensboro reports 120 students rode public transit on the first day of the partnership back on January 10. At last check, it was 238 students.

The all-time high over the last few weeks is 310.

While some parents and students are on board, others said they just aren't comfortable with the program.

"You never know who your kid sitting beside on public transportation," Rick Warren said.

Warren's son is a freshman at Andrews High School in High Point.

Concern lingers for Warren over the GCS strategy to make up for a bus driver shortage.

"It's crazy for the school system to say there are no changes. They need to hire more bus drivers. They need to pay these bus drivers well," Warren said.

A growing number of students at eight high schools are riding Greensboro and High Point city transit since the district announced a partnership last month.

Warren is opting to drive his son to school instead even though their schedules do not line up.

"There have been some days when I haven't been able to make it to work on time," Warren said.

His son's classes start at 9:30 a.m. Warren has to be at work by 8:00 a.m.

If he doesn't drop his son off early, it likely means he's late for work. Plus, he saves his lunch hour for pick-up in the afternoon.

"It's a huge problem in the afternoons because nobody's organized, there's a lot of cars parking along the street," Warren said.

The district doesn't have a timeline for when bus routes may return to normal. The partnership with GTA runs through the end of the school year, just in case.

Warren hopes it all ends soon.

"Just like [district workers] have a job, I would like to keep mine as well," Warren said.

Students taking city buses to class means more riders than normal.

Still, on an average weekday, students only account for five percent of Greensboro Transit's ridership.

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