There are a lot of factors behind the current shortage of school bus drivers. One of the biggest reasons is that school bus driving can be seen as an unattractive career choice. There are many common problems and complaints about school bus driving which can prevent otherwise qualified people from pursuing it. A school district should look to mitigate these factors and offer school bus drivers what they want from their jobs. This will go a long way towards ensuring their routes remain fully staffed.
There are many challenges involved in running and managing a school transportation system, but the issue of transporting special needs children is its own special category. Because schools are generally obligated to provide services and work around the needs of the children, it can create extremely unique challenges for each district.
The school bus driver shortage isn't getting any better. In recent nationwide surveys of school districts, nearly all reported difficulty in maintaining driver staffing levels and roughly 30 percent described their shortage as "severe or desperate." Many schools are beginning to have to take truly drastic action, even cutting services, due to their problems with driver recruitment and driver retention.
For trend-watchers, these are exciting times for school bus technology. Unlike many other fields where tech trends are pushed by frivolous consumer whims, technology for school buses is inherently practical.
BusBoss stays up-to-date with the technology trends. Check Our Products for the newest student routing and scheduling technologies.
The top priorities for district transportation systems include lower costs, easier administration, and safer rides. These are the areas modern school bus technology tries to target.
Alternative fuels such as propane or compressed natural gas (CNG) are a hot topic within the transportation industry, including those involved in school bus fleet management. Everyone knows we have a limited supply of petroleum on the planet and that regular and diesel gasoline are harmful to the environment.
The current school bus driver shortage means that holding onto your existing drivers is of paramount importance. If you lose a good driver, it could be months - or more - until you find a suitable replacement. Unfortunately, due to the pressures and problems with school bus driving as a career, most districts are seeing higher-than-normal levels of driver turnover.
Don't rely solely on telephone, email or the postal service for parent notifications. You can’t know which method a parent prefers or checks most often. The more ways you have to communicate with parents, the more likely it is your message will get through.
Given how badly the school bus driver shortage is affecting school districts around the country, it's absolutely vital that school transportation directors and administrations do whatever they can to retain the drivers on their payroll. In many areas, this can even be a case where unusual or drastic action is needed because of how hard drivers can be to replace.
School districts across North America are switching to alternative fuel sources for their bus fleets, and for good reason. Propane helps to reduce the costs of school bus transportation while also helping to reduce emissions.