Districts searching for school bus drivers, training offered

Posted at 6:17 PM, Aug 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-30 22:26:36-04

Districts are working to fix a major problem when it comes to getting kids to school. There is a shortage of bus drivers to make it happen.

“The best part of this job as a bus driver, are the kids,” said Diane Holden, Bloomfield Hills Schools Transportation Supervisor.

She often runs into adults who rode her bus as little ones.

"I was in a coney island and I heard someone say 'Miss Diane! You are still my favorite bus driver'. How can you not? How can you not be happy about that?” said Holden.

Holden says she wants to inspire people to take on this job, as school districts face a bus driver shortage.

Around metro-Detroit you will see school buses that have been transformed into billboards. They are advertising job openings.

“We do think we have enough staff to start the district, but we are always searching,” said Kim Root, Huron Valley Schools Communications Director.

7 Action News went to a job fair earlier this month as Dean Transportation, which serves numerous local districts searched for 30 drivers. Attendance was low.

So, why is there a shortage?

School districts say the problem started as the economy improved. The job is part-time, pays on average between $15 and $20 an hour and can be stressful. Plus, the job has many requirements.

“People think oh, I am just going to drive a bus. It isn’t that simple,” said Holden.

The good news for potential drivers is as districts face a shortage, more and more are paying for training.

“You can come to us with a clean driving record and we’ll help you become a bus driver,” said Root. “We will give you that training.”