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Many students from Thonon-les-Bains, in Haute-Savoie, struggle every morning to get to college. The reason: the shortage of coach drivers. Parents don’t know what to do.
It’s 7:30 a.m. in Fessy (Haute-Savoie), and it’s time for Leo to go to school. Like every morning, he prepares for the same scenario. “There, this morning, if there is no bus, I will go home”, he confides. Her mother is worried too. After a few minutes, a first bus arrives, but it is full. The second does not stop. “It’s just not manageable. We’re trying to find solutions, it’s not normal compared to what we actually paid, and above all a communication problem which is just absolutely disastrous”, deplores Julie Sonzogni-Louvet, parent of a student.
The children eventually board a third bus, which was unplanned. The company in charge of school transport recognizes disruptions. Seven out of 40 drivers are missing. “We asked (…) our staff who hold a public transport permit, but who usually do not circulate (…) to also provide the services”, explains Jean-Pierre Philibert, President of RDB Thonon. In the agglomeration of Thonon, 69 pupils out of 3,000 are without a transport solution, according to the operator.