School bus companies recruiting drivers amid shortage

School bus companies looking for drivers amid shortage
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 5:41 PM EDT
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OLD SAYBROOK, CT (WFSB) - The state is dealing with a shortage of school bus drivers.

It’s not anything new, but the pandemic only made the problem worse.

School bus companies, through their organization called COSTA, are putting out the pitch all week to recruit bus drivers.

“We are still in the same crisis that were have been for the last few years and every company that runs buses in the state is hiring, they are all looking for drivers,” said Jon Hipsher, COO of M and J Transportation.

They mean all types.

New drivers, former drivers, retirees, parents with toddlers that can be brought along for the ride, and even newly retired broadcast journalists are sought after.

There is variety in the search and a variety in types of routes that need to be driven.

“If you just want to drive 4 to 4 and a half hours a day, that’s great. If you want more full time, there are plenty of routes, athletics, plenty of work that’s available,” said Hipsher.

Not only the types of routes but the hours in a day.

“After you get your CDL, you’ll get about 19 dollars an hour and it can go up to the mid to high 20s depending upon the location in Connecticut,” Hipsher said.

The process of hiring, training and certifying drivers begins now with the plan to have them ready to go by the first day of school.

Unlike other years, the bus companies are working hand in hand with state government to help things run smoother and quicker.

“We used to use paper and it would take weeks to come back the team got together and with technology has designed some streamline process,” said CT Motor Vehicles Commissioner Sibongile Magubane.

If you are interested in applying, click here.

Every school bus company in the state is hiring, so you won’t have to be far from where you live.