MERIDIAN -- A huge shortage of school bus drivers is causing a huge headache for some Meridian parents and kids.

The Meridian School District says they simply don't have enough drivers, so some students are forced to wait for a second drop off.

The problem started last year. That's when the district noticed bus drivers were leaving and they couldn't find any people to apply for the open positions.

It's gotten so bad that they've turned to job fairs and local colleges to find drivers, but they still need dozens more.

Now, it's impacting the students.

At Lake Hazel Middle School about 80 students have to wait an extra 20 minutes at the end of their school day.

That's because their bus takes one load of kids home, then comes back for a second.

David Ross has a sixth grader at Lake Hazel, along with a 10th grader at Mountain View High School.

He has experienced the school bus issues and says the problem needs to be fixed.

It's frustrating because you count on them, you count of the buses to transport your kids to and from school safely and on time, said Ross.

He says the delays happen in the mornings as well.

There's been a couple times this year that my daughter hasn't been picked up from school, and we've had to figure out how we will get her to school, said Ross.

Meridian School District spokesman Eric Exline says they're down about 30 bus drivers, out of the 250 they need to run all the routes.

It's really kind of a crisis at this point in terms of keeping our fleet on the road with qualified drivers, said Exline.

Exline says the problem started a few years ago when they dropped the mid-day kindergarten bus route to save money.

But that dropped most drivers down to just a four- or five-hour shift each day, so since then they've seen more and more drivers quit.

The shortage got so bad a few weeks ago, they're now having drivers do two routes in both the mornings and afternoons at several middle schools.

The routes we are doubling are the kids who live in neighborhoods that qualify for busing but they are the closest kids, said Exline.

It means early pickups and delayed drop offs for kids.

However, Meridian schools says they simply don't have enough people to put behind the wheel.

Our transportation department is doing everything they can to try and get kids home timely, said Exline.

Exline says those with a commercial driver's license in the department are now driving buses, including administrators.

He says they will probably have to expand the double routes to other schools in the future, if they're not able to hire more drivers.

The district tell us right now there aren't even any applicants for the open driver positions.

If you would like to apply, click here.

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