The results of School Bus Fleet's Top 50 Contractors survey indicate that many respondents offer bonuses or other monetary incentives. Nearly half ramp up their advertising to recruit drivers as shortages continue to be a challenge.
Shortages moderate to severe
Nearly one in four respondents report a severe driver shortage, and more than half said their shortage is moderate. No respondents to the question about the extent of their driver shortage selected “none.” The categories are defined as: none (0% short of drivers), mild (1-5% short), moderate (6-10% short), severe (11-15% short), desperate (at least 16% short).
Efforts to address driver shortage
When asked what efforts they were making to deal with driver shortage, nearly half of respondents said they are increasing advertising through billboards, fliers targeted to community groups, and social media to boost employment. More than one-third are turning to signing and referral bonuses. Other efforts mentioned included improving company culture and creating a retention program.
Driver pay increases
Among Top 50 respondents, the average starting pay for school bus drivers rose slightly from 2016.
Which fuel-type buses are you buying?
Nearly all respondents that are purchasing new school buses for the next school year are buying some or all diesels. Gasoline, at just more than two-thirds, is a close second pick. Almost three-quarters (72%) of the respondents are buying buses of more than one fuel type.