Some parents and school administrators are scrambling to transport students to school this year as they grapple with a school bus driver shortage, a shortage that is being felt nationwide.
“In the school bus world and industry, there’s always a struggle looking for and finding good people to be school bus drivers. The pandemic just has escalated that to very critical levels,” said Chloe Williams of the New Jersey School Bus Contractors Association. School districts are competing with trucking and delivery companies for a dwindling pool of drivers.
In Camden, the shortage of drivers has led the school district to stagger the pick-up times for students, which in turn has meant staggering the start and end times of the school day so that drivers can make multiple rounds. Despite that, 571 students across the district are left without bus transport. The district is offering to reimburse parents who drive their kids to school and add a $100,000 liability to their auto insurance.