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Trends The Driving Trend of SALARIES


WRITTEN BY SEAN GALLAGHER | SEAN@STNONLINE.COM The fact is that there are just not enough school bus drivers


to go around. New drivers are dwindling while older drivers are retiring. Transportation departments nationwide are scrambling to fill vacant spots that are being left empty. School Transportation News explored the trends that districts are following in order to keep drivers and attract fresh ones. More than 640 public and private student transportation profes-


sionals responded to the 2016 Driver Salary and Higher Education survey sent to 18,340 readers in April and May, a response rate of 3.5 percent. Questions explored a number of aspects of maintain- ing a transportation department across the country. One respondent reported that some of the additional benefits


provided to drivers are health benefits, even if a driver isn’t working 30 or more hours per week. In addition, the districts offer holiday bonuses, yearly awards given for attendance, recruiting bonuses for identifying new driver candidates, paid time for bus cleaning, meetings and other specified duties outside of driving. A number of responses described that drivers are offered signing bonuses, health care packages and attendance extras, as well as


additional pay on top of a salaries that ranged, depending on the region, from $11 per hour to $22 per hour. As for the types of incentives offered to attract new drivers, one


reader stated that the transportation department pays a “$500 stipend once (drivers) complete training, and they have been em- ployed for 90 days without any incidents.” Te operation also pays for driver training, which is conducted online. To retain veteran drivers, another response reported that a district is “paying insurance, accepting (the drivers’) children in the school district if they do not reside in the district and being supportive when the principals question discipline referrals, etc.” In order to preserve morale and strengthen team bonds, trans-


portation departments throw potlucks, provide meals, engage in wellness programs and “have an end of the year awards brunch where drivers/attendants/mechanics/office staff get together and meal is provided and their successes are celebrated with awards presented to accident free, perfect attendance, years of service,” another reader told us. ● Turn the page to browse results from our reader survey.


QUAL IT Y MAT TERS


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