HCS Needs More Bus Drivers to Avoid Route Changes for the 2023-2024 School Year
June 7, 2023
School bus routes could look different next school year if the bus driver shortage in the Hoover City Schools (HCS) District continues. Several bus routes were adjusted this school year in order to manage daily operations and ensure all bus riders have transportation.
Here’s a look at some of the measures implemented to recruit and retain bus drivers:
Increase in pay for drivers and aides who exceed the 20 hours per week pay period
Increase in pay for substitute drivers from $60.00 to $90.00 per day
Perfect attendance bonus for transportation employees
Half route option, which includes health insurance benefits
Working with interested coaches, teachers, and staff members to identify bus routes that will work with their class schedule
Added more air-conditioned buses
Jeremy Bradford, HCS director of transportation, says he needs at least 20 additional full-time bus drivers and ten substitute drivers to prevent further changes to school bus routes throughout the District for the 2023-2024 school year.
Steps Being Considered:
Allowing interested teachers and certified staff members to serve as bus drivers.
Removing stops not used by students who initially registered for bus service but choose not to ride.
Creating neighborhood stops instead of house stops.
Increasing the number of students assigned to each bus.
Transporting different grade levels on the same bus whenever possible.
HCS bus drivers earn $22.00 - $29.30 an hour, and substitutes can earn $45.00 per shift (up to $90.00 per day). Bus drivers can earn more by taking field trip routes at $30.00 an hour.
The HCS transportation department has an on-site trainer who modified the department’s course of study to meet the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration guidelines and trains new prospective bus drivers free of charge. In addition, the transportation department offers reimbursement for an applicant’s Commercial Driver’s License fees.