School Transportation News Published by STN Media Group

Web articles over the past several months have focused on the national school bus driver shortage. We asked our readers on social media to weigh in.

Are new driver applicants experiencing delays in obtaining their CDL permits that contribute to the shortage?

Only if they are not paid during that time. I feel that’s one of the biggest reasons. Then you add the pay for the responsibility required and you have a big problem. —Facebook/Stephanie Muner-Hayward

Raise the pay for a high responsibility, inconvenient split-shift job and you’ll have all the high-quality drivers ready for training and licensure that you need. The bus driver companies and the school districts negotiating the contracts are way out of the market … laughably low pay. You’ve created the situation you’re suffering, and you get what you pay for. —Facebook/Andy Smith Communications and public relations at SocialWork

It took me a while to get mine. Had to get through all of the classes and do all the paperwork. [Then] wait for them to review everything, as well as get my physical and background checked and then go through the training itself. It’s a lengthy process, for sure. —Facebook/Daniel Short School bus driver at Rockingham County Public Schools, Virginia

How would you “solve” the school bus driver shortage?

Simple: 1. Pay drivers a wage that competes with other CDL jobs. 2. Pay for all training and fees. 3. Employ them in the summer. 4. Provide teacher aides to ride along on tough elementary routes. 5. Go back to low seats. —Facebook/Robert Gordon Former anti-submarine warfare operator for the U.S. Navy

In the UK (and most of Europe), school transportation is provided using buses that are suitable for use on other work. Drivers are employed full-time, year-round to undertake a variety of duties that may include public transit or charter work. That way, no one is laid off in the summer and driver turnover is minimized. These days, few people can afford to work just 38 weeks a year. —Facebook/John Hodgkins Retired transport professional

For the Record

An article on integration of technology providers on page 26 of the November 2019 issue (“Working Together in Unison”) incorrectly stated that Transfinder assisted Treker with installing a child check alert system for Chula Vista Unified School District in California.

10 School Transportation News • JANUARY 2020

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