The start of the school year was not easy for 900 of the 335,000 Alsatian students.
The reason ?
They did not have school transport.
A lack which is due to a shortage of drivers.
“We currently have 200 when we need 260”, summarizes Martin Godefroy, director of Kéolis Alsace.
"We tried to hire as many as possible, thanks to Pôle Emploi, temporary agencies up to 300 km around, by soliciting colleagues but that was not enough", he adds.
Small (additional) stress at the start of the school year this Thursday morning for nearly 1,000 Alsatian students.
Precisely 900, all in the second degree, and located in the north of Bas-Rhin, near Wissembourg, Soultz-sous-Forêts or Reichshoffen.
These middle and high school students simply could not take their usual school bus for the simple reason… that it did not pass.
Why such a disorganization?
"Because there are not enough drivers", responds Evelyne Isinger, who manages the file in the Grand-Est region, the competent authority in the matter.
“We were warned last Friday that the transporter, Kéolis, was unable to meet certain times provided for in the specifications.
Parades have already been found for 1,800 students with additional shifts for some drivers.
But for 900 others, we had no solution.
The parents and town halls concerned were notified electronically… Tuesday evening.
"A somewhat late reaction", regrets the city councilor of Soultz-sous-Forêts, where a dozen adolescents were concerned.
Those of the neighboring and co-managed municipality of Hohwiller.
“The parents were bothered by the timing but got organized among themselves, either with carpooling or with the train.
This is not why it is not a hassle ", continues Christophe Schimpf, admitting" to understand the problem ".
60 drivers are missing
Namely, this shortage of drivers. “We currently have 200 when we need 260”, summarizes Martin Godefroy, director of Kéolis Alsace. "We tried to hire as many as possible, thanks to Pôle Emploi, temporary agencies up to 300 km around, by soliciting colleagues but that was not enough", he adds before d 'explain this lack by several factors. “With the Covid-19 crisis, some have turned to the transport of goods, which has exploded with the confinements. Others also have anxiety about interacting with people. "
"Drivers do not want to comply with health constraints or simply get vaccinated", continues the regional adviser without promising a rapid resolution of the problem.
New alternatives were again found in the emergency this morning.
Since midday, the pupils concerned can thus take the train with their usual school transport card.
And after ?
“We appeal to all goodwill.
Retirees from the profession will be welcomed with open arms, ”says Martin Godefroy.
The region, too, hopes to arouse vocations.
"For this year, we have opened a training session (two to three months) with 145 places but we are struggling to fill it", concludes Evelyne Isinger.
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