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Bus driver shortage continues in Bedford Co., district offers $1,000 bonus to substitutes

Bedford County Public Schools bus. (Credit: WSET)
Bedford County Public Schools bus. (Credit: WSET)
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Bedford County Public Schools is struggling to find bus drivers.

To avoid having to cancel bus routes, Mac Duis, Chief of Operations, said they are having existing staff work extra to cover any openings.

"On a day, when everybody's healthy and working, we're able to cover our bus routes and get all kids to school on time. The difficulties we find are when the drivers have an illness, or whether there's another life event that takes them away from work. When that happens, sometimes we're really challenged to cover those routes," said Duis.

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To notify folks of any route changes, BCPS parents will receive a text from the school.

"We'll send text messages to folks who have provided cell phone numbers to the school. So, when families find that they're not getting a notification, they should first check to make sure that we have updated information for their email and cell phone. Then, we'll get that updated in the system. And that should work from there on out," said Duis.

Duis said they are extremely short-staffed on drivers and could use help from the community.

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"We need full-time drivers, we need substitute drivers. We can work with folks. If they are only willing to drive certain days of the week, or mornings, or only afternoon, that's fine. We will find a place for them because there's a need for drivers in all those situations," said Duis.

Duis said they are also offering a $1,000 bonus to any substitute who works at least 45 days by the end of November.

If you are interested in becoming a driver, you can call the transportation office or email them.

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"We pay folks for all of their training time. If they become a driver for us, we want to let them know that we'll hold their hand from the beginning and walk them through that process. So, if that's something they're interested in, we'd love to talk to them," said Duis.

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