Bus Driver Shortages Causing Inconvenience

Jack Crystal, Staff Writer

MCCSC has had to adapt to a bus driver shortage and increased number of student riders this year. (Marcos Valentin)

              MCCSC buses have been running late for the past week and a half due to a large driver shortage. Why has this shortage of drivers been happening? Over the years the number of school bus drivers in MCCSC has been in steady decline.  

              Assistant Principal Jay True thought this bus shortage can be solved. True repeated the phrase “nothing new” often during this interview, as this shortage has been a recurring problem. True mentioned how a shortage like this happens nearly every year at the start of school. 

          “On the first day of school my bus came about 40 minutes late, and I arrived home late,” said South freshman Evan Witte. This shortage has been affecting a large number of students. Some bus riders are getting to their classes late because the busses arrive at the school after 8 a.m., which is when first period begins. This is due to the remaining drivers having to take up parts of routes that aren’t theirs. 

          Why is there a shortage now? True commented the shortage wasn’t necessarily caused by COVID-19. Because of this shortage, “[He] was always seeing these big hiring bus driver signs, and doesn’t know a time where we haven’t been short on bus drivers.” There has alway been a need for drivers at the start of the school year, but most people haven’t really realized how serious it is until now. Rather than causing this shortage, COVID-19 highlighted it, showing the need for bus drivers and their services.

MCCSC Superintendent Jeff Hauswald addressed the driver shortage and late buses in a letter to families. “The number of student bus riders also has increased by approximately 2,700 students this year,” said Hauswald.

Hauswald also mentioned that MCCSC corporation bus drivers as a whole drive 10,250 miles a day so that students can safely get to school.

Becoming a school bus driver is an involved process that involves passing a criminal background check and obtaining a Commercial Drivers License. It’s a challenging job, True said.

         “Treat the drivers with respect,” said True. “I understand that being a bus driver is not an easy job, but I believe that if no one is messing around on the buses and if everyone is sitting in their assigned seats, it will make it an easier job for everyone.” Although it’s a rough situation, True would like those riding buses to hang in there and know that “they’re doing the best they can right now.”