UniteGPS – Chesterfield County Public Schools in Virginia made progress this month in overcoming its driver shortage after onboarding 200 new bus drivers to the transportation staff. Originally covered by NBC 12, this is a substantial improvement for the district after beginning the 2021-2022 school year with 100 driver vacancies.
Leading up to this, Chesterfield students were experiencing drastic pick-up and drop-off delays as overworked drivers took on lengthly double-back routes. To the rejoice of many, the recent hiring gains have scrapped double-back routes for both drivers and students.
Driver shortage at Chesterfield County Public Schools
In August 2021 the Chesterfield Community School District released correspondence on its website about its aggressive bus driver recruitment. So far, the hard work seems to be paying off. While recognizing the essential service of bus drivers who work long hours and take on multiple routes, the district’s superintendent originally urged community members to be part of the hiring solution.
“I apologize to our families for the stress and frustration that these transportation problems have caused at the start of the school year,” said Superintendent Merv Daugherty in the statement. Around the same time, superintendent Daugherty also motivated parents to work together in providing transportation to students over a video on the school district’s Facebook page.
“Our bus drivers are vital to our school system, and I encourage everyone who wants to help children succeed and stay safe to apply to drive a school bus for (Chesterfield County Public Schools ).”
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Throughout these challenging times for student transportation, parents still had access to an app showing them their children’s bus stop locations. Any major route changes or cancellations are reportedly communicated over this platform.
At the beginning of the school year, the starting hourly pay for bus drivers in the school district was $17.21 with pay increases up to $25.73 according to experience. New bus drivers will also receive payment during the CDL training, $500 bonuses in October and April, $100 per semester for safe driving, and $50 a month for perfect attendance.