OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – Drivers can still see the sign that reads “desperately seeking bus driver” outside the school bus compound on Simpson Road.
Despite months of job fairs and incentives, Randy Wheeler with Osceola County Schools Transportation Services said there are currently 23 bus routes that still do not have drivers.
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“Our routing department has been very busy these first weeks balancing out the workloads (and) the ridership. Our buses are built... to accommodate about 77 students,” he said.
Wheeler explained they are using substitute drivers from a separate company to cover those routes but in the meantime, the district still needs at least 30 new drivers to fill in the gaps and cover for other drivers when they call out sick.
“Our staff improvises solutions every morning to get all of those students to school. So they typically break their routes up,” Wheeler said.
More than 30 applicants showed up to their job event last month, though that wasn’t the case on Tuesday.
Only a few people came in for interviews.
“We also increased bus driver and attendants’ pay. A bus driver in their first year with no previous experience can start at $16.50 per hour and a bus attendant at $15 an hour,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler said they currently have a class with ten bus drivers in training but it’s going to take a couple of weeks until they can get behind the wheel.
Those interested in applying can do so here.
And the Osceola school district isn’t the only one in need of school bus drivers.
Orange County is also in need of about 100 drivers. Those interested are invited to apply online or at one of the county’s upcoming job fairs, scheduled for 9 a.m. until noon on Sept. 12, 19 and 26 at the Eric Olson Compound, Pine Hills Compound and Hanging Moss Compound respectively. For more information, click here.
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