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caption: A First Student school bus
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A First Student school bus
Credit: First Student, Inc.

Seattle Public Schools, beset by late buses all year, prepares for Viadoom

Seattle School District is taking steps to reduce the impact of the viaduct closure on the 55,000 children who come and go from nearly 100 schools each weekday.

District spokesperson Tim Robinson said the district hasn't identified schools that will be hard hit by the viaduct closure, but is focusing on school bus routes near Magnolia and downtown, and those between West Seattle and the Central Area.

“We have around 1,200 routes, let’s say, and maybe a third to a quarter of those drivers will be coming in early," Robinson said, "so they can continue to get to the stops on time."

The district has already dealt with buses running up to two hours late all school year due to a driver shortage.

Robinson said teachers and other district staff have been asked to adjust their commuting habits during the “Seattle Squeeze.”

Teachers have also been asked to excuse student tardies related to the viaduct closure.

Still, some teachers and parents have voiced concerns that low-income children will be particularly affected by the expected traffic, as they’re more likely to rely on buses — and free school breakfast before the bell rings.

The district said children who rely on school breakfast will get it, regardless of when they arrive at school.