LCSD1 Transportation making strides to get more Bus Drivers enroute
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Parents are growing more concerned about the number of students riding on school buses.
With three students riding per bench, why aren’t there more buses on the roads and where are all the bus drivers?
The pandemic has put a dent in how many drivers were available to drive students to school, some fearful of exposure to the virus. Others are retiring or moving out of state, adding to the shortage.
As the workforce opens up and vaccination rates rise, there has also been more competition for workers.
According to a National School Transportation Association survey, the need for bus drivers is categorized as severe.
“We realize that when you’re sitting three secondary students to a seat, its not the most comfortable . its still within the national spec, so as we hire more drivers , we’re looking at our routes, we’re probably going to have to add some buses throughout the district to alleviate that overcrowding on buses. And we just appreciate the public’s help ans support as we get through these tough times,” said Adam Greenwood, LCSD1 Transportation Program Administrator.
Currently, LCSD1 has 14 drivers in training and is interviewing more this week. They also want to add 20 on-call drivers to take over for sick- leave or vacation time.
“Well a lot of us Bus Drivers that have been here, have talked to friends or people that we work with before, trying to talk them into coming here. Telling them about the benefits and now with the 2 dollar raise, I think thats definitely helping,” said Krystle Bailey, LCSD1 Transportation Bus Driver.
Before the school year, LCSD1 Transportation estimates the number of student riders based on the year before. Since students were online last year, LCSD1 has had to make adjustments for changing student riders. Moving bus stops to accommodate the numbers.
Officials say Bus Driver banners throughout the city and the pay hike are helping.
“I talked to a pizza delivery driver, that stopped at my house one day and she asked me about my LCSD1 transportation shirt. I was like you know what, put in an application if you’re interested, its a great place to work. Did she apply? She did, and we hired her...she starts on the 11th,“ said Justin Budd, Assistant Program Administrator of Transportation-LCSD1.
Even though they currently don’t have enough drivers to cover every route with a permanent driver. Driver numbers are expected to be at good levels by November.
LCSD1 Transportation is currently looking for more drivers. If you’d like more information, click here.
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