The initial stage of a new research project by NAPT and  School Bus Fleet  will be an in-depth driver recruitment survey.

The initial stage of a new research project by NAPT and School Bus Fleet will be an in-depth driver recruitment survey.

With many school bus operations struggling to fill their driver rosters, the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) and School Bus Fleet have joined forces to research the issue and share insights with the industry.

While both recruitment and retention are key factors in driver shortage, NAPT Executive Director Mike Martin said that this study will take a “deeper dive” into recruitment. Ultimately, the goal is to identify best practices that can help school districts attract more people to the job.

The initial stage of the research project will be an in-depth driver recruitment survey, which will be sent to NAPT members and SBF readers. Results from that survey will be presented in November at the NAPT Summit.

NAPT and SBF will collaborate on the project with Dr. Larry Seibert, founder of research and consulting firm Association Metrics.

SBF’s annual surveys have shown a pronounced school bus driver shortage in recent years as other employment opportunities have increased. The 2016 School District Survey, which will be published in the November issue of the magazine, found that 90% of the districts surveyed are experiencing some degree of driver shortage.

The topic has even drawn attention in the mainstream media, as cities like Nashville, Tennessee, and Toronto have dealt with severe driver shortages that have led to service delays.

“Driver shortage has clearly become one of the most pressing challenges for school bus operators," SBF General Manager James Blue said. "We’re pleased to partner with NAPT on this project, which will provide practical information that managers can use to redouble their recruitment efforts."

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