Walker County Schools getting creative with getting more bus drivers
Officials with Walker County Schools are looking for dependable bus drivers.
Transportation Director Kevin Richardson says it's not just a Walker County Schools issue, it's statewide.
Now, they are going the extra mile to get more than two dozen bus drivers on the road.
Walker County Schools normally run 90 routes to make sure students get to school and back home.
Right now, they are down 17 bus drivers.
“We have had some illnesses,” said Kevin Richardson. “We've had some retirements. With the job Market being better, it's more difficult to get folks to come in.”
Georgia's school bus capacity is 72 passengers.
So far this year, they've been combining routes, and have not had any issues with overcrowding.
“However, it is a daily shuffle, and dance to make it work,” said Richardson. “Three people per seat. However you have larger folks, and you are not going to be able to get three per seat. So we have to be very cognizant.”
If you would like to help, Richardson says applicants can expect an interview, and your driving history will be checked.
Also, all drivers must have a CDL license before they hit the road.
The state requires every driver must complete a training known as 12-6-6.
“That's 12 hours of classroom instructions,” said Richardson. “Six hours of driving without students. And six hours of driving with students.”
The application process takes about four weeks from the beginning to the end.
Richardson and his staff are trying to think outside of the box to get more drivers on board.
One way to get people in is by offering training at night.
“You've got some folks who may be working during the day that may be interested in doing this,” said Richardson. “So we did that all last week from 5 to 9. That gave us 20 hours which goes beyond the 12 hours of instruction.”
Richardson says he has already had a few new applicants for drivers.
The goal is to roll out more drivers over a period of time.