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RandySF

(56,161 posts)
Tue Sep 28, 2021, 07:56 PM Sep 2021

'As adults, we failed': New Jersey's school bus driver shortage grows 'dire'

Suzanne Tuttle was about to call the police. Her 4-year old son, Max, should have been home from his first day of prekindergarten at J. Harvey Rodgers School in Glassboro four hours earlier, but his bus still had not arrived.

Tuttle had received a robocall from the school earlier in the day telling her to expect delays because of a shortage of bus drivers, but after waiting for two hours at the stop in 90-degree heat, Max was still missing. Tuttle, her husband and mother desperately called and texted the school and even got a passing bus driver to radio other buses. No one knew where Max's bus was.

“I want to believe my son is safe, but nobody is at school and nobody is answering calls or the radio — and at this point it’s 5:30 and I put that little boy on a bus at 7:45 in the morning,” Tuttle said in an interview. “I didn't know what to do."

Finally, at about 6 p.m., a minibus carrying Max and other children arrived and dropped him off. Tuttle said Max was hungry but otherwise calm. Other kids on the bus were crying.




https://www.politico.com/news/2021/09/28/new-jersey-school-bus-shortage-514559

9 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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'As adults, we failed': New Jersey's school bus driver shortage grows 'dire' (Original Post) RandySF Sep 2021 OP
Lots of school bus drivers are retirees. I wonder how many died from Covid. patphil Sep 2021 #1
or are not willing to risk a Covid infection Skittles Sep 2021 #2
An average of $14.19/ per hr in Ohio irisblue Sep 2021 #3
Yeah but the hours are horrible. And the job isn't all that easy either. cinematicdiversions Sep 2021 #4
Yep. Local story on the driver shortage irisblue Sep 2021 #5
Parents are going to find they will have to step up! Sad, they can't rely on busing, but this is our PortTack Sep 2021 #6
Requiring a CDL may have to be looked at too. Baked Potato Sep 2021 #7
When I lived in rural Upstate New York PoindexterOglethorpe Sep 2021 #8
You know the solution to that: pay people more! Initech Sep 2021 #9

patphil

(5,890 posts)
1. Lots of school bus drivers are retirees. I wonder how many died from Covid.
Tue Sep 28, 2021, 08:01 PM
Sep 2021

And how many more have long term symptoms.

 

cinematicdiversions

(1,969 posts)
4. Yeah but the hours are horrible. And the job isn't all that easy either.
Tue Sep 28, 2021, 08:19 PM
Sep 2021

It is the split shift as much as the pay that discourages many from taking the job.

irisblue

(32,765 posts)
5. Yep. Local story on the driver shortage
Tue Sep 28, 2021, 08:33 PM
Sep 2021

Source--https://news.wosu.org/coronavirus/2021-09-27/bus-driver-shortage-forces-nearly-half-of-ohio-school-districts-to-cancel-routes?_amp=true&__twitter_impression=true

Snip--A flood of recent retirements is fueling the shortage, which has been building for a while. There's also some competition for drivers from the commercial trucking industry.

The districts that responded said overwhelmingly, they feel pay is the biggest reason they can’t find drivers. Sixty-three percent of districts said they thought pay was the reason people weren't taking bus driver jobs."

More at source & audio of the report

PortTack

(32,112 posts)
6. Parents are going to find they will have to step up! Sad, they can't rely on busing, but this is our
Tue Sep 28, 2021, 08:38 PM
Sep 2021

World.

After finding they had moved into a very very poor school district in the greater Phoenix, my daughter and her husband drove their daughter 35 minutes each way to go to another district while both were working full time. Besides all the time, they literally burned thru 2 vehicles. Phoenix has open enrollment for grade school so it was an option. They did it for 2 years while working at moving into another district.

Our world is not an easy place, but ya have to step up for your kids, regardless of the sacrifices

Baked Potato

(7,733 posts)
7. Requiring a CDL may have to be looked at too.
Tue Sep 28, 2021, 08:40 PM
Sep 2021

A CDL can probably get a driver way better pay than driving a school bus.

PoindexterOglethorpe

(25,593 posts)
8. When I lived in rural Upstate New York
Tue Sep 28, 2021, 11:24 PM
Sep 2021

many decades ago, our bus drivers were mainly local farmers, because the split shift was easy for them to do, and gave them a guaranteed income while farming.

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