PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- With kids heading back to school, many will be waiting for the school bus each morning, but what if it doesn't arrive? The school bus driver shortage continues to hamper companies across the country.
Krise Transportation takes care of eight districts in our area and 26 across the state. They said this year is better but they still expect some issues because of openings.
For the past few years, the bus driver shortage makes headlines this time of the summer. This is a great concern to parents who rely on bus services, and companies know that.
Krise Transportation president Tim Krise said the challenge is finding people who will do the job and most importantly work well with children.
"It's the first thing they see every day, the first person, and we want them to have a positive experience when they ride the bus to and from school," he said over Zoom.
While this year is looking better for the company based out of Punxsutawney, it's still not perfect. Krise doesn't have his exact numbers for the year yet with their startup meetings in the next few days. His company continues to advertise and use recruiters to get drivers in seats. They make no guarantees that every route will be serviced every day.
"We will be very transparent. We put together some apps to tell parents if a bus is running behind. If a route has to be canceled, that's a last resort," Krise said.
In some cases, routes may have to be doubled up to make sure everyone that needs a bus gets it.
Each staff member is trained to drive a bus if called upon.
While a CDL is required to become a driver, Krise wants people to be aware that they will train you to get one and be paid during your training. Bus companies are aware of the importance of in-person learning. They want to make sure there are as little interruptions as possible.
"When children do not have a ride to school, they can be able to learn remotely but it's not the same experience," Krise said.
He believes while this year may be better, it's going to take time for this problem to go away. It may still be lingering for the next few years.
Krise stressed that schools are working well with companies to ensure discipline on buses which has kept some drivers away.
If you have interest in becoming a school bus driver, click here for some information.
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