Keith Connors

Weekdays 10a-3p

Pasco County Needs School Bus Drivers. They are down about 90 school drivers. Pasco school district supervisor, Nancy Morales, describes the severe shortage. “It’s a challenge, and it has been a challenge. It seems like this year more than any other time. I’ve been here 16 years and we’ve never had it this bad.”

It’s easy to understand why the shortage has come about. In some cases, workers may receive better unemployment benefits (upon quitting). And some older bus drivers may be worried about potentially catching COVID-19.

Here is what the district is offering to new drivers: 15 days of paid training; $13.40 an hour for full-time drivers; health care benefits; extra income opportunities for field trips.

“If you like children, this is the perfect job for you,” said Tory Walter, who has been a Pasco County school bus driver for 15 years. “You know money is not everything, but it does have many rewards. A lot of people that I work with, I love who I work with. I love my job.”

If someone is concerned about driving a large vehicle, don’t fret. That’s what the training is for. “When you drive you have so many mirrors that they are so easy to see when you are making turns and backing up. So it’s easier than your actual car,” said Morales.

Because of the shortage, the district is considering changing school start and end times. They’ve also been asking drivers to work longer shifts.

Who knows when things will get better.

If you’re interested in applying to be a driver, click here.

For more information, please visit our friends at ABC Action News.