Osceola County schools host ‘Welcome Back Training’ for bus drivers

Bus driver told News 6 that driver shortage may present challenges

The Osceola County School District held its first day of training for bus drivers.

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – The Osceola County school district held their first day of ‘Welcome Back Training’ for bus drivers Monday.

Marie Bundrum has been a bus driver for 23 years and said that with the driver shortage, it’s been especially challenging.

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”It’s crazy. Every year we need drivers; anybody that wants to work, please come,” Bundrum said.

She told News 6 that bus drivers are doing multiple routes.

“It’s very difficult because we’re triple and doubling. The kids are packed — it’s the way that it’s growing right now. If we don’t get any help, I don’t know how we’re gonna do it.”

But Zach Downes, a spokesperson for Transportation Services for the Osceola County School District, said they aren’t sure how short they are on drivers. Downes said they ended last year about 35 drivers short, and as of right now, they don’t have an exact number of how many drivers they still need for this year.

”Once we get to the first day of school, we realize how many routes are set. That will determine how many drivers we need,” Downes said.

Monday’s training had both new and veteran drivers in the classroom for district safety procedures — as well as active shooter training.

He described the active shooter training by saying, “They’re learning how to respond if it happens on the bus, what to do if it’s happening outside the bus at the stop, and how to handle the situation to keep themselves safe and our students safe.”

School begins Aug. 10 in Osceola County.

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About the Author:

Lauren Cervantes was born and raised in the Midwest but calls Florida her second home. She joined News 6 in August 2019 as a reporter.