School Bus Driver Shortage In Montana - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

School Bus Driver Shortage In Montana

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BOZEMAN -

School is now in session across the country and many students take the bus to get there.

Local schools and bus contractors are scrambling to keep the buses on time.

First Student in Bozeman is in need of drivers.

"We've had our drivers start quitting probably early August, and we have advertised, we have buses out all over the place looking for drivers," said Stacy Roberts, First Student Bozeman manager.

Roberts said they are looking to hire ten new drivers.

She credits Bozeman's unemployment rate on the driver shortage.

"We have low unemployment around this area, which is good, but makes it hard for people who need part time drivers," said Roberts.

Even with the shortage, Roberts said they are getting some applicants, but many of them have a criminal history.

She said First Student does extensive background checks and they won't lower their standards just to have a driver.

"I may have staff driving, I may drive myself if that's what it takes to make sure all our kidos get home," said Roberts. "We will never drop our standards."

Roberts said she's already had to drive a route this year.

So far this year, the most routes have been affected were buses running late.

"It hasn't affected it to where we haven't missed any routes or had to do something drastic and put a couple routes together," said Roberts. "I hope that never happens."

Roberts said the driver shortage is not just in Bozeman. In fact Billings, Helena and Belgrade are also having problems finding people to drive their buses.

Roberts said driving school bus is a great job for stay at home moms because you can bring your kids on the bus with you and people who are self-employed.

If you want to drive Bozeman Public School students, call First Student at 406-556-8039.

To drive for Belgrade Public Schools, call 406-388-0572.

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