National News

Metro Atlanta schools districts face school bus driver shortage

Posted August 9

— The first week of school is in the books for metro Atlanta school districts, but it hasn't been a smooth ride. CBS46 is learning that dozens of families endured lengthy bus wait times, but one mother is cutting schools some slack during the first week.

"The toughest part has been the transferring of students," she said.

During the first week of school, bus drivers are getting used to their bus routes and students are getting used to their bus stops. School officials say it usually takes a couple of weeks for everything to get settled.

The Gwinnett County School District transports more than 115,000 students daily. Any traffic backups in any part of the area can have a huge impact on pickup and drop off times, but a bus driver shortage is not helping.

Right now, Cobb County Schools need an additional 38 drivers, Atlanta Public Schools has 56 bus driver jobs to fill and Gwinnett County needs about 106 bus drivers a day to run routes, but are coming up short, and this isn't the first time. They had trouble finding drivers just before last school year too.

Driving a school bus is important work with a lot of responsibility. Drivers have to get students to and from school safely and on time. It's a split shift and requires a lot of patience, all reasons school officials say this year is especially difficult finding drivers.

School districts have put out the wanted signs and increased the starting salary to more than $15 an hour.

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