Local Schools Getting Help With Bus Driver Shortage

LANSDALE PA – Across the state, 88 percent of students who attend public and private schools begin and end their day on a bus, according to the Pennsylvania School Bus Association. A driver shortage though, jeopardizes the safe movement of students back and forth to classes, sports, and activities. The association’s answer: it launched a driver recruitment campaign Tuesday (July 13, 2021).

The effort, called “You Behind The Wheel,” is a statewide initiative that describes the benefits of becoming a professional school bus driver. It intends to raise public awareness of the driver shortage, and provide resources that can be used to recruit new drivers. The campaign features a job portal website that connects those interested with driver openings close to them.

Officials in association-member districts and contractors – several of which are in Montgomery, Berks and Chester counties – during the past year have publicly worried about their problems in keeping buses fully staffed. They’re being given the opprotunity to customize parts of the campaign for their own use, association President Denille Girardat Myers said.

School bus transportation is widely recognized as the safest way to get students to and from school, Myers noted, and added their drivers are “trained professionals who love what they do, and provide an essential service to our communities.”

The Lansdale-based association was founded in 1980, and consists of more than 300 school bus contractors and industry partners.

“We’re proud that, during the pandemic, school bus drivers remained on the job, dealing with various types of schedules and working as full partners with our school districts,” association 2nd Vice President and Membership Committee Chair Aaron Sepkowski observed. “Our members are working hard to ensure the bus driver seat will be filled” for a full fall schedule of school and activities.

Photo by The Post