Bus driver shortage: Duval County school district needs 50 drivers; sign-on bonuses offered

Jacksonville contractors are offering sign-on bonuses

With the first day of school less than two weeks away -- the Duval County school district is working with its contractors to address a bus driver shortage.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With the first day of school less than two weeks away -- the Duval County school district is working with its contractors to address a bus driver shortage.

Jacksonville contractors are offering sign-on bonuses and hiring more part-time drivers. One of the companies is also working to reduce the time it takes to get kids to and from school.

Student Transportation of America (STA) is opening a new bus terminal on Market Street. The company said because it’s centrally located it will shorten route times for students in the downtown area.

The district says STA and its other contractor – Durham School Services – need to hire dozens of new drivers.

The district said it needs to hire as many as 50 new bus drivers to get kids to and from school, plus a pool of backups for when drivers are out.

The companies that are contracted with the district are working to expand their prospects. That now includes having trained drivers – without commercial licenses - provide van service for Exceptional Student Education (ESE) and remote students.

Contractors will also start using part-time drivers to give full-time drivers more availability. Sign-on bonuses are being offered too.

STA and Durham have also implemented incentive programs to get more applicants. That includes offering current employees referral bonuses for successfully recruiting new employees. They’re also giving recognition gifts for good attendance and accident-free records. Plus workplace improvements and team events

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About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013 and reports every weekday for The Morning Show.