Area districts see bus driver shortage as school year nears

Local News

It’s almost time to get the kids back to school.

But getting them there might be tough for some school districts in the area.

School buses may be parked now, but soon they roll out for the 2016-17 school year.

However, as of right now, some school districts don’t have enough drivers.

Charlie Miodus, First Student location manager, said they’re 12 bus drivers short for the start of the school year that is a little over a week away.

Miodus said the contracted bus service runs 130 buses every day, covering Millcreek Township, the city of Erie and the Iroquois School districts.

Bus drivers are part-time employees, work a split shift and the job doesn’t offer benefits or paid-time off.

General McLane School District’s transportation coordinator said it’s a rare year, but they have an adequate number of drivers to start, but she understands why other districts are having a tough time fill spots.

“It’s a tough schedule to maintain for a lot,” Miodus said.

General McLane starts pay at $16.50 and First Student around $12 an hour.

It does require a CDL, which is 14 hours in the classroom and a minimum or six hours behind the wheel of a bus with a state certified trainer.

First Student offers training classes every week.

“It’s an easy job in that it’s only a 180-day requirement, you don’t work holidays, you don’t work weekends, you don’t work nights,” said Nacy Ekstrom from General McLane.  

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