School bus driver shortage triggering offers of bonuses, double wages

Due to a shortage of school bus drivers, a school transportation provider in Pennsylvania announced it will double its employees’ wages, reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

A school bus driver shortage has always been an issue. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has further aggravated the situation since many drivers left their jobs for more secure work.

David Sustain, president of Sun Coach Lines, told the newspaper that his company would be offering bus drivers with commercial licenses an increase of more than double their previous average rate. This would guarantee a rate of $168 per day, rather than $80 per day.

“We are taking a bold step that we hope will have significant impact on closing a transportation gap that’s affecting every school district in the region,” Sunstein told “By offering a significant pay increase, we want to invest in quality drivers to not only meet our existing transportation needs, but also to be able to support numerous others who are reaching out to us for help to address shortages.”

Sustain said he aims is to hire at least 50 new drivers this summer but is willing to hire twice that. He believes that the families of Pittsburgh deserve to be able to obtain safe and reliable transportation. In order to apply, candidates must be twenty-three years or older.

His client, The Pittsburgh Public Schools, is facing a shortage of more than 9,000 bus seats for students when they return to in-person instruction during the upcoming fall semester, according to the newspaper.

In North Carolina, Wake County Public School System is offering $1,200 signing bonuses to attract drivers, reported District officials anticipate having around 700 bus drivers on staff for the upcoming year but need at least 85 more.

The bonus is paid out in two payments, according to the Wake County Public website. The driver receives $400 after the first three months of employment and an additional $800 after the first year of driving with the district

Reprinted with permission from School Transportation NewsRead the original post.


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