PERRY COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — Bus companies continue to deal with school bus driver shortages, made worse by the pandemic. One Midstate company, however, said it is starting to bounce back.
Rohrer Bus Services in Perry County said no bus company is fully staffed, but they say the company is in a better place than they were at the beginning of the school year.
“We have more drivers on the road which is fantastic,” HR manager Kristen McGaffin said.
Still, school bus drivers are in short supply.
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“We are hiring for just about every district we service,” McGaffin said.
This is not a new problem.
“It’s been something that the industry has dealt with for years,” McGaffin said.
She said the pandemic made things worse.
“There were people who were unavailable to drive due to various reasons throughout the pandemic,” she said.
However, McGaffin said Rohrer is bouncing back and continuing to hire, particularly for substitute drivers.
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“It’s now winter, it’s flu season, people have heard about that, so drivers unfortunately get sick sometimes too, and we’re looking for people who can fill in and help out,” she said.
One incentive is McGaffin said Rohrer can do everything on site, including testing for commercial drivers’ licenses. She added, prospective drivers do not have to commit right away.
They can give school buses a “test drive” alongside a trainer.
“For people who are thinking about being a bus driver, but they’re not quite sure, they’d like to try it out, we will schedule a one-on-one with them,” she said.
For parents worried about news of a driver shortage, McGaffin said don’t panic.
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“Yes, we know it’s cold at the bus stop this time of year, but the buses are coming,” she said.
Rohrer is hiring drivers year-round and will continue hiring through the holidays. For more information about becoming a school bus driver, visit their website.