The words of thanks from the director of the Sources school pleased their terminus: the messaging service of Cars Bihan, a company based in Lesneven. The kindergartens of the public school of Drennec took the bus, this Monday morning, with a big smile. On the way to the Menez-Meur domain, in Hanvec. All’s well That ends well. Because, if the little ones ended up seeing the wolves, the story crossed an involuntary rabbit.
Highly anticipated, the school outing was originally scheduled to take place on Tuesday, June 7. But this morning the day after Whit Monday, the bus didn’t even show up. Communication problems. The picnic, taken happily in the school, finally swallowed the disappointment. As well as the promise of a new date, promised by Cars Bihan.
Clamped at 80%
This example aims less to point out responsibilities than to reveal the short-term difficulties of public transport companies in satisfying the traffic jam of requests. “We are asked to work at 120% when we can only operate at 80%”, summarizes Philippe Bihan, boss of the coach company.
End-of-year outings from schools or works councils flock in these months of May and June, after two years of pandemic withdrawal, while the room for maneuver has narrowed for the assignment of a driver: “Right now, I’m missing five or six (out of a workforce of 60) to provide, at least, the service”.
A human deficit dug by sick leaves, not compensated by recruitment (read below). A dozen drivers from the Lesnevian company are currently unfit for service: “We started to suffer from the covid tsunami in January. Since then, the number of stoppages has remained at double its usual level. A problem that affects other colleagues in the network, ”points out Philippe Bihan.
Christian Labat, boss of Trans Elorn Tourisme, in Landerneau, confirms: “I work with 18 employees instead of 21 and, at the moment, we make two to three school trips a day”.
Reports, shortcuts, remote calls
How does he solve the equation? ” Very complicated. We sometimes have to propose a postponement to the beginning of July. Or else favor short distances so that the driver can be back at 4:30 p.m., in Landerneau, and continue with the school bus service”.
In the absence of an available driver, we refer to colleagues. More and more distant: “People from Fouesnant called us for transport to Nantes”, illustrates Philippe Bihan. At Trans Elorn Tourisme, a group of adults asked for a quote for a Rennes – Saint-Brieuc: “This means that you can no longer find a carrier near your home,” worries Christian Labat.