MANATEE COUNTY- A shortage of bus drivers caused Manatee County Schools re-evaluate some routes.

Anna Maria Island has two buses and the transportation team says they are going to combine the two at the end of the month to free up a bus driver for another route.

Hardship busing students, those attending Anna Maria Elementary even though they don’t live in the school’s attendance zone, their complimentary busing will end at the end of November.

About 7 children from Anna Maria Elementary are affected.

Director of Transportation for Manatee Schools says getting bus drivers is a challenge because the pay is not competitive enough; right now they are short about 20 to 25 drivers.

The hardship busing route elimination is a district wide initiative that will happen gradually and all complimentary service will be eliminated.

About 150 drivers transport on average 16,000 students daily and that number is set to increase.

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Krystel Knowles
Krystel Knowles joined SNN in February of 2016. She is a graduate of the University of South Florida with a Bachelors in Mass Communications and minors in News Editorial and Telecommunication Production. Krystel is trilingual- fluent in Spanish, English and French (and picked up some Portuguese while studying abroad in Brazil). Krystel started her career in print journalism. She was a correspondent for the St. Pete Times Newspaper, staff writer for Focus Magazine, and head reporter and photographer for South Tampa community news publication. In 2011, she made the switch from print to broadcast journalism. She has since worked as a photojournalist for Fox 35 in Orlando, and also as a photojournalist/multimedia journalist for ABC action news in Tampa. Although she was born in Tampa, Krystel moved to New Port Beach, California within a few months. She then spent 8 years in Lima, Peru before moving to Miami, Florida. While living in Peru, Krystel danced at the National School of Ballet and sang in a choir. Her passion for ballet led Krystel to figure skating in 2015. Her other hobbies include: skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, and traveling.