Busing may look a little different this year

Deb Henton

It has long been said that an improving economy makes it difficult to find bus drivers. Sure enough, as you drive around the state and see the banners and signs placed prominently by school districts looking for drivers, it becomes clear the problem of finding bus drivers is widespread.
School Bus Fleet, a national publication, recently partnered with the National Association for Pupil Transportation to survey transportation providers about this issue. Here is what it found:
More than one-third of all respondents (37 percent) indicated that the bus driver shortage is either severe or desperate for their company or school district.
For more than half of all respondents (52 percent), dealing with driver shortage is their No. 1 problem or concern.
More than two-thirds (70 percent) of all respondents believe the trend for having a shortage of bus drivers is getting a little worse or much worse.
If you would like to read more about the nationwide driver shortage, you can do so at this link: www.schoolbusfleet.com/article/722179/dealing-with-driver-shortage-is-still-a-big-deal.
Here at North Branch Area Public Schools, we will be contracting with K-12 Transportation, a private carrier, to supply drivers for a handful of routes we have been unable to staff over the summer. School district staff will work closely with K-12 to ensure pick-ups and drop-offs are performed as safely and as efficiently as possible.
This is a change for NBAPS. As a school district we are proud of how safely and efficiently our transportation dept. handles busing. We have been providing local jobs, and local drivers, for families for a very long time. We know that you appreciate our quality drivers and value having local drivers who care about the area and the families who live here.
We ask for your patience as we negotiate this new process for the 2017-18 school year. There will be some differences from previous years. For instance, families should be aware that their school bus may not be marked “North Branch Area Public Schools” as in previous years. It is our hope that families experience minimal change.
In the meantime, NBAPS continues to look for bus drivers. We offer competitive pay and a hiring bonus once training is complete — training that the school district provides at no cost. If you, or anyone you know, is interested in driving a bus for NBAPS, call 651-674-1030 or apply for a bus driver position directly at: isd138.org/page/3040.

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