Massachusetts National Guard Ends Role as School Bus Drivers in Haverhill, Lawrence, Other Districts

National Guard members look inside a school passenger van during a training in coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. (Courtesy photograph by Dave Wilkinson, Mass. National Guard.)

The Massachusetts National Guard has completed a rare mission—stepping in to drive school buses in Haverhill, Lawrence and other communities that struggled to secure qualified personnel.

The Baker administration Monday afternoon said 200 National Guard drivers had driven school buses nearly 330,000 miles, making about 15,000 student pickups and drop-offs. Besides Haverhill and Lawrence, the Guard provided school transportation support in Brockton, Chelsea, Framingham, Holyoke, Lowell, Lynn, Quincy, Revere, Woburn and Worcester and the Wachusett region.

“The Commonwealth is grateful to the men and women of the Massachusetts National Guard for answering the call and supporting the safe transportation of students in communities across Massachusetts,” Gov. Charlie Baker said in a statement. “By working collaboratively with local districts who requested assistance, the Guard was able to provide critical school transportation support at a time when schools, students and families needed it most.”

The state said civilian drivers have been secured to enable the 13 school districts to drive their own students.

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