Bus driver shortage further complicates COVID-19 impacted school year

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 6:01 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - In Alabama and across the country, a desperate need for school bus drivers is growing. Schools everywhere are struggling to find enough people to drive all students who need a ride to school.

Pike Road Schools is holding a job fair Thursday, hiring bus drivers and substitute bus drivers, among other positions.

Fewer drivers mean fewer buses. So, the buses on the road will be crowded with kids when social distancing among kids has never been more critical. But, many qualified drivers say they’re not comfortable on a school bus right now, saying they’re worried about COVID exposure.

Even though many schools are offering some pretty lucrative bonuses to lure more drivers to get behind the wheel, the process to become a certified driver can take months, so finding and hiring new drivers is not a quick fix.

At Pike Road Schools, full-time bus drivers get full benefits through Pike Road Schools, working four hours a day Monday through Friday while school is in session. The school system offers help with training and certification.

That job fair is Thursday, 10 a.m. -2 p.m., at the Pike Road Intermediate School Auditorium. In addition to bus drivers, it’s hiring substitute teachers, custodians, and food service workers.

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