The nationwide school bus driver shortage is causing major transportation issues across Minnesota, with St. Paul Public Schools the latest to announce a significant disruption just two days before the start of school.

SPPS announced Tuesday that it has been forced to prioritize bus transportation for elementary and middle school students, which will mean four high schools will have to rely on Metro Transit rather than school bus service.

What's more, staggered start times are being introduced to a number of schools in the city in order to maximize the limited school bus resources the district does have available. 

On Tuesday, Superintendent Joe Gothard said the changes would affect 10,000 students, with the staggered start times also likely to disrupt the plans parents had already made for getting their kids to and from school.

"We understand these changes are difficult on families, staff and students, especially so close to the first day of school, and we apologize for these last-minute changes," a message on the district website reads. 

High school students at Central High School, Como Park Senior High, Harding Senior High and Washington Technology Magnet School will no longer receive school bus services.

Instead, all high school students at those four schools will receive free Go-To cards to use on Metro Transit. But that means students will have to find a way to Metro Transit pick-up locations, which are closer to those four schools than others in the district. 

Students who plan to use Metro Transit are encouraged to use the Trip Planner at and plan a route that will get them to the school at least 15-30 minutes before classes begin. 

If not Metro Transit, students will have to be dropped off and picked up by a private vehicle, or walk, bike or carpool to school. 

Follow Bring Me The News on Twitter for the latest breaking news

Seven schools in the district will have staggered start times until winter break, at least. These seven schools will start at the following times, with school bus services still provided. 

  • American Indian Magnet: 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Battle Creek Middle School: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Capitol Hill Magnet School: 9:45 a.m.-4:15 p.m.
  • Jie Ming Mandarin Immersion: 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • L’Etoile du Nord Elementary: 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. (Upper Campus) / 8:40 a.m.-3:10 p.m. (Lower Campus)
  • Murray Middle School: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Wellstone Elementary: 9:45 a.m.-4:15 p.m.

Families or students with questions are urged to call the district's transportation department at 651-696-9600. 

Next Up


Crash in southern Minnesota kills motorcyclist

The crash happened Saturday at Highway 42 and County Road 14 in Highland Township.

Oli Udoh

Vikings-Cardinals: 5 things you can count on happening

The Vikings need a win in the desert but will they get one on Sunday?

Kyler Murray

How can the Vikings stop Kyler Murray?

The Cardinals quarterback accounted for five touchdowns against the Titans.

Red's Pizza in Oshkosh, Wisconsin

'Landmark' Wisconsin pizza joint to close amid worker shortage

The restaurant has been a local favorite since 1957.

Ky Thomas

Potts, Gopher defense dominate Buffaloes

Trey Potts ran for three touchdowns in a 30-0 victory in Boulder.

police tape, crime scene

Suspect dies by suicide after 11 hour standoff in Wisconsin motel

The standoff occurred at a motel in Balsam Lake.

U.S. district court minnesota - federal court

Four sentenced for home invasion on northern Minnesota reservation

The incident took place in October 2019 on the Red Lake Indian Reservation.

Screen Shot 2021-09-17 at 10.42.39 AM

4-year-old girl killed by falling branch in Mankato is identified

She is from South Dakota, and was attending the Mahkato Annual Traditional Powwow.

Screen Shot 2019-09-24 at 6.35.24 AM

No. 1 Lakeville South dominates No. 2 Eden Prairie

The Cougars ran away with the Class 6A showdown.

Lake Nokomis

Boy hospitalized after being rescued from Lake Nokomis has died

He was one of two children pulled from the Minneapolis lake.



Take a look at St. Paul Public Schools' back-to-school planning

Families will have the option for distance learning no matter what the state decides.

St. Paul Federation of Educators

36,000 students out of school as teacher strike begins in St. Paul

A strike begins immediately after failed negotiations reached a deadline.


St. Paul Public Schools joins Minneapolis starting year remotely

The school board voted Wednesday to begin remotely for at least six weeks


Deal reached: St. Paul teacher strike ends, school to resume

Classes are set to resume on Monday, March 16.

Sex offender arrested after riding bus with elementary students

The man boarded a school bus at the Walker Art Center.

St. Paul teacher strike

Saint Paul teachers prepared to 'walk the line for our kids'

A strike could begin Tuesday unless last-minute mediation leads to a new contract.


COVID outbreak forces Bloomington Public Schools back to distance learning

Younger students had been back in their classrooms for just over a week.