School Bus Transportation Updates: Route Consolidated Due to Driver Shortage

We have worked diligently to attract and retain school bus drivers over the past several years, but are currently short of the number of drivers we need. As a result, we will need to condense 15 bus routes, essentially adjusting our total number of routes from 130 down to 115. We also will be contracting all our out-of-District routes to an outside company.

Since we were last running at full student capacity in March 2020, several changes have impacted our transportation system:

  • Enrollment in the district has declined by 1,500 students
  • School attendance boundaries for grades kindergarten through eighth grade have been redrawn
  • We are about to open two new schools
  • We have made ongoing adjustments to comply with COVID-19 mitigation measures

Because of these shifts and a nationwide labor shortage, we still do not have as many drivers as we need. Currently we have about 136 drivers — around 35 drivers less than we had in March of 2020. Please know that all bus routes are covered, but our employment numbers do not allow any margin of error, as we must also provide daily substitutes for drivers who are out for illness, emergency, etc.

The district has drivers in training classes now and has had positive responses from our recent postcard recruitment push for new drivers. We will be rebalancing load and re-working routes for several weeks after school starts as ridership patterns become more regular. We are fortunate to have such a great staff of wonderful and dedicated drivers whom have continued to be an integral part of our school system throughout the pandemic.

Are you or someone you know interested in becoming an ISD bus driver? We offer excellent pay and benefits and paid training. To apply, visit our careers page and look for job #3795.