Bus driver shortage may affect Greenville students

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(AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

When school starts on Aug. 16 in Greenville County, some students may find their bus ride times extended and their pick-up and drop-off times delayed because of a bus driver shortage. Greenville County Schools is about 40 bus drivers short despite a summer-long recruiting effort. As a result, the district will have to rely on certified trainers and other employees to fill its routes. Greenville County Schools have no substitute or back-up drivers available.

The district has struggled in recent years to attract bus drivers because it competes with private industry for drivers with commercial driver’s licenses. In an effort to become more competitive, Greenville County Schools raised bus driver salaries this year and last. Today, the starting bus driver pay is $13.91 per hour, and the district guarantees at least 30 hours per week to full-time drivers and provides benefits.

Over the past year, Greenville County Schools held numerous bus driver job fairs and rented billboards advertising the need. The school district also recruited door-to-door and used social media to try to attract more bus drivers.

Bus drivers must be at least 18 years old and meet the requirements to obtain a commercial driver’s license. They must also have no more than four points against their current driving record in the previous 12 months and have not had their driver’s license suspended for a moving violation within the past five years. The district provides behind-the-wheel training.

The district is asking anybody who is interested in becoming a bus driver to call 864-355-1276.

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