The Gaston County school system is in need of more school bus drivers.
As of last Monday, the district was still 25 bus drivers short, according to Todd Hagans, chief communications officer for Gaston County Schools.
“We like to think that the ‘help wanted’ sign is out when it comes to school bus drivers. It is always a problem that we have not having enough bus drivers to cover the route,” Hagans said.
He said the district has 210 buses that operate and a total of 16,000 students that ride those buses. The shortage of drivers has resulted in delays for buses and drivers having to manage ‘double routes.’
Hagans said qualified teachers assistants as well as cafeteria workers have been used to drive buses. He added that the schools have been trying to communicate any issues with buses to parents.
“We just ask our parents to be understanding. We are going to have a few bumps along the way in the first few days of school,” Hagans said.
He explained the shortage, in part, by saying that driving a school bus doesn’t provide for the best work hours.
“Even though the pay per hour is a good hourly wage, you are limited on the number of hours you can work,” Hagans said.
The district will be hosting a bus driver training course beginning on Tuesday, he said.
Hagans asked that any interested drivers visit the school system’s website and fill out an application