District Cancels Some School Bus Routes Due to Driver Shortage

Posted on October 11, 2016

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A school district here had to cancel some school bus routes three days in a row last week due to a critical bus driver shortage, WDRB reports.

For the 11th time during the 2016-17 school year, Jefferson County Public Schools canceled some bus service, including seven bus routes on Friday, according to the news source. The school bus drivers’ union told WDRB that the district is 50 to 70 drivers short. Additionally, the district told the news source that 220 school bus drivers were absent during the three days when the bus routes were canceled last week.

Jennifer Breslin, a spokesperson for the district, told WDRB that the shortage is part of a national trend of school bus drivers seeking other opportunities in the improving economy. John Stovall, a spokesperson for the drivers’ union Teamsters Local 783, told the news source that drivers deal with a lot of disrespectful behavior and “are fed up.” Breslin added that the district has made changes to better track and address issues that occur on the bus.

The district has taken drivers from alternative school routes to fill in gaps in other routes and has given some students passes to take public transportation. To recruit drivers, the district is using social media, job fairs, and targeted advertising.

To read the full story, go here.

Related Topics: driver recruitment/retention, driver shortage, Kentucky

Comments ( 2 )
  • Alfred Karam

     | about 3 years ago

    While there is a national shortage of CDL professionals, especially School Bus Drivers, there are things School Districts can do to mitigate the shortage. For one, Drivers and Bus Attendants must feel and know they are valued and supported by administration. Bus referrals written by drivers and attendants must be taken seriously and addressed in a timely manner with the communication loop completed by sharing the consequences with the driver/attendant. The second thing is for districts to use technology to help drivers manage their environment (students) e.g., cameras (video and audio) to capture behavior. Camera systems are extremely important in today's school bus environment because, unfortunately, parents and to some extent school officials don't believe the bus driver version of what may have transpired on the bus. Thirdly, pay and benefits can increase morale and mitigate some and not all of attendance issues. And lastly, student management training cant be over-emphasized - this type of training must occur on a consistent basis. Transportation Directors should make it a priority to work hand in hand with school administration, BOE and school principals on some of these issues to help keep the drivers who are working for you happy and at their job.

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