Local Districts Cope With School Bus Driver Shortage

Local Districts Cope With School Bus Driver Shortage

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Too many buses and not enough drivers - that's what school districts in the north country are facing.

Rick Burr with the Indian River Central School District's transportation department says it's hard to hold onto drivers.

"We're looking at almost 50 percent that come and go. It's quite the changeover," he said. 

Burr says most people come in looking for full-time positions with benefits and that's not what the district can offer.

Most if not all the positions are part-time, but that doesn't seem to fit everyone's schedule.

"We need help. We need people to come and apply, give us their time. They get paid here to train," said Burr.

At Carthage Central, the transportation department is on the same page. Most of their drivers are part-time and it's a position that not many are looking to fill."

"Each year, we're a little more shorthanded. I think that's what we're running into now, it's just not a good fit for a lot of people," said John Gibbons, Carthage transportation director.

Gibbons says his department is starting to lose veteran drivers and those spots aren't filling up quickly.

Another reason for that - state testing requirements.

"This is rapidly approaching not only a state, but a national crisis. What are we gonna do to transport kids? It's not a position people are lining up to fill anymore. It's just not," said Gibbons. 

Both districts say they are continuously hiring and in the meantime, they might have to assign drivers With more runs to make up for the shortages. 

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