[In the player above, watch previous FOX 8 News coverage of the local school bus driver shortage.]

OLMSTED FALLS, Ohio (WJW) — Olmsted Falls City Schools is readying parents for regular busing delays expected for this school year.

A notice from Transportation Supervisor Sean Misick sent to school district parents on Sunday, Sept. 17, warns of delays for some district bus routes.

The morning and afternoon routes for Bus No. 88, which has elementary and middle-school riders, were expected to be impacted on Monday, Sept. 18, with delays of up to 30 minutes. It was also expected to cause a “ripple effect” on other bus routes, reads the announcement.

“All students will be transported to and from school, however please expect some routes to be running behind schedule,” reads the announcement. “We appreciate your patience as our transportation team works to safely transport all students. Please know that any students who arrive late to school due to bus route delays will not be counted as tardy.

“Looking ahead, please be aware that we are going to be facing situations like this as the year goes on, when we don’t have enough drivers or buses on a given day. This will in turn force us to double up on routes (having one or more drivers complete multiple routes for a given age group), which will cause delays.”

A nationwide shortage of school bus drivers is now beginning to impact the district and is “likely to become a more frequent challenge,” reads the announcement.

More than half of all school districts in a five-state region including Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin reported their driver shortage as “severe” or “desperate” in 2021, according to the latest study from the National Association for Pupil Transportation. That’s when a district is short at least 16% of its usual roster.

One county school district in Kentucky declared a “transportation disaster” after some students didn’t get home until 10 p.m. due to a driver shortage, The Hill reported on Monday.

The industry faces low pay, licensing problems and a changing workforce.

Olmsted Falls has been “working continuously” to recruit new drivers, but claims the pool has been “limited across the region,” according to the announcement. The district’s bus fleet is also aging, and replacements have been delayed by pandemic supply chain issues.

“Most importantly, we want families to know safety continues to be our number one priority and that we work diligently to keep our existing bus fleet in good working condition. We have an excellent team of mechanics and drivers, and regularly pass state inspections,” reads the announcement. “However, the reality is that the supply chain delays have put us behind in our normal bus replacement schedule, which means our ability to retire older buses as new ones are purchased has been slowed. This reality, combined with the shortage of bus drivers, will likely be a challenge for us throughout this school year.”

The district intends to launch a website updating the public on transportation issues, the link to which will come via email.