Minneapolis Public Schools warns of bus delays up to 3 hours for Thursday

Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) has announced it will cancel student after-school activities on Thursday, Jan. 6, to prioritize bus availability for taking students home.

In a statement, MPS said schools will be held in person, but all student after-school activities, as well as all Early Childhood Family Education classes, will not take place on Thursday. Transportation to senior varsity athletics will still resume, and adult evening Community Education classes will continue as scheduled unless otherwise arranged. Minneapolis Kids will also remain open.

Those enrolled at MPS have been told to prepare for potential bus transportation delays ranging from 30 minutes to three hours. The district says they will be notifying families via robocall and text messages of delays.

Students who arrive late to school as a result of transportation issues will be excused.

Transportation delays are being blamed on the continued regional and national bus driver shortage, which has increased due to COVID-19 quarantine protocols.

In a statement to FOX 9, the district was unable to provide specific numbers on absent bus drivers. A district rep did say:

"The bus driver shortage is something we’ve been facing and dealing with since August. Recently, the shortage has been aggravated by COVID-19 and required quarantine protocols. We know this shortage is extremely difficult for our families. We’ve posted helpful information for them to help them plan and deal with this issue in the Transportation FAQ section on our website."