Families across the Inland Northwest affected by bus driver shortages
SPOKANE, Wash.– A shortage of bus drivers is hitting the nation and right here in the Inland Northwest.
Families in the area have reached out saying buses continue to be late. Some families have told 4 News Now it’s thrown off their schedule, and they would rather pick their kids up than have them ride the bus.
For this school year, the Cheney School District had to change its start and end times. That’s in part to student growth and because of bus driver shortages. The Cheney School District isn’t alone when it comes to this issue. The Mead School District is also seeing bus driver shortages.
The Mead School District recently emailed families and said its lack of bus drivers is affecting after-school athletics.
In a statement, the Mead School District says one challenge they’re having in finding bus drivers is because it’s a split shift, morning and afternoon. A district spokesperson said driving positions don’t provide full-time work.
The district says it’s currently “staffed well enough to ensure all of our regular routes to and from school,” and that it does have a small number of substitute drivers. However, they’re looking for as many as 10 drivers.
In the email to families, the district says it’s working on new solutions to fill open positions, but the shortage could have an impact on after-school activities.
Spokane Public Schools is also experiencing bus driver shortages and sent this statement:
As has been previously shared and reported, the national bus shortage has impacted many school districts across the state. We are working to mitigate the impact to families and are making adjustment to school bus routes.
The district has a reopening plan update in its board meeting Wednesday night and transportation is one topic they’ll be discussing.
Durham School Services, the bus company SPS contracts with, says it’s been tough for them to find drivers. A spokesperson for Durham School Services says there’ve been 10 people who’ve resigned in the last few weeks because of the vaccination mandate in Washington. However, Durham School Services says a majority of their employees have responded saying they will get vaccinated; “at least 10-percent of our workforce has expressed that they will find employment elsewhere,” they said.
If people are looking for employment and want to drive a bus for any of these districts or companies, check out their respective websites to apply.
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