Alabama in dire need of school bus drivers

School Bus Drivers Needed

By WVUA Digital Reporter Anneliese Taggart | Story courtesy ABC 33/40

There is an extreme bus driver shortage in Alabama.

Every school system in Alabama has unfilled positions and the number of job openings means drivers are taking multiple routes and some students are stuck on the bus much longer than in years past.

For instance, Hoover has 15 unfilled positions and Jefferson County has 13. Bus drivers often receive benefits and retirement packages, but it is not a full-time position so many drivers are retirees or work other jobs in addition to driving a bus.

In Tuscaloosa County, skills are tested in a parking lot and on the open road. Billy Hollon with the Department of Education’s Pupil Transportation said the passing rate is around 90%.

“Trying not to hit any boxes, fenders, or gates on the school campus can be very difficult, especially with tail swings and tracking the bus in your mirrors”, said Hollon.

The pay for a bus driver in Alabama runs from $15,000 to $18,000 per year, but drivers who drive for school field trips or athletic events can earn more money.

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