More bus drivers needed to make RCAS bus wheels go round and round
RAPID CITY, S.D.- Rapid City Area Schools have been experiencing a massive shortage in school bus drivers. So far, no routes have been cut, but the lack of coverage is causing concerns. The district is short at least nine bus drivers and two bus aids, and a plethora of substitutes are needed too.
Katy Urban, Community Relations Manager, RCAS, talked about the need, saying that “Right now we are just barely making it. We are pulling drivers from everywhere, our warehouse, our mechanics, everyone who has a CDL and can drive is driving right now because we are so short.”
Routes could start to get cancelled if the shortage continues, but Rapid City Area Schools are doing everything in their power to prevent that. Luckily, there are plenty of benefits involved, and drivers may only work in the mornings and afternoons for a few hours. “Our bus drivers get full benefits, retirement, medical all of those things, and if you don’t know how to drive a bus, if you don’t have a CDL, that’s something we will actually train and pay for,” Urban explains.
In addition to these incentives, district officials note that it’s also a job of incredible importance to schools and students. Urban adds that “it’s a great service and its something that’s so important to our district. We need to get kids to school and so we would really appreciate any more applications that come in.”
School bus drivers say they absolutely love driving around the hills and seeing smiling faces.
Clayton Severson, a bus driver for RCAS, has been driving school buses since 1980. “My favorite part of the day would be seeing the kids every morning,” he says. “It’d be seeing the kids.”
Even if drivers can’t commit to the full-time schedule, they can work as substitutes and come to the rescue when it’s needed most.