JACKSON, Mich. — Jackson Public Schools (JPS) bus drivers will receive a pay raise and other incentives this upcoming school year as the district works to improve its transportation system and be more competitive with area school districts, MLive reports.

Chad Brown, director of marketing for Michigan Educational Transportation Services, JPS’ transportation provider, told the news source that bus drivers will be paid $15.00, $16.00 or $17.00 per hour, based on their route assignment date, an increase from the current pay scale of $14.50 to $16.49 per hour.

Michigan Educational Transportation Services employs 50 drivers for the district, including 21 of the 27 JPS drivers who joined the company after transportation services were privatized in 2013, MLive reports. The district and company faced some challenges, particularly last year, when buses were overcrowded, failed to show up or were consistently late, according to the news source.

In addition to the raises, JPS is adding five new buses to its fleet, and is planning to install video cameras on all of its buses by the beginning of the new school year, Jeff Beal, the district’s superintendent, told MLive. The district is now also giving regular JPS drivers two paid snow days and the ability to earn up to four more paid days for perfect attendance, Brown told the news source. Beal told MLive that drivers are also being offered incentives for retention and new driver recruitment.

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