St. Louis School District Offering Families Money to Drive Kids to School amid Bus Driver Shortage

The money will be given to eligible families with children who are not tardy or absent more than once a week

<p>Christian Gooden/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP</p> Missouri Central School Bus

Christian Gooden/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP

Missouri Central School Bus

Although riding a bus to school is a regular occurrence for many students, a St. Louis school district experiencing an ongoing shortage of bus drivers is trying to get more parents to drive their kids — and they're putting money behind it.

On April 29, in a letter to parents of children who attend the St. Louis Public Schools district, Director of Transportation Toyin Akinola explained a new incentive plan to pay parents to drive their children to school in an effort to combat the district’s continued bus driver shortage.

As outlined in the letter, families will be provided with gas cards until May 13, after which time all families in the district who are “willing to transport their children” are eligible to receive $75 during the last two weeks of school, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The money will be given to eligible families with children who are not tardy or absent more than once a week, the newspaper reported.

Related: 'Hero' 7th Grader Grabs Steering Wheel and Stops School Bus After Driver Passes Out

Representatives from the St. Louis School District did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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The Missouri Central School Bus Company announced in March the contract with the St. Louis Public Schools district would be terminated at the end of the school year, per the Associated Press.

<p>SDI Productions/Getty</p> School bus

SDI Productions/Getty

School bus

Earlier this year, drivers held a “sick out” after Amin Mitchell, a mechanic for Missouri Central Bus Company, allegedly found a noose near his workstation, per The Kansas City Star.

About one-quarter of St. Louis’ school bus routes were impacted by the sick out, leaving hundreds of students without their typical transportation, reported KTVI.

Fifty-six bus routes were impacted, according to a post on St. Louis Public Schools’ Facebook page.

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