AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – A bus driver shortage in Aiken County Schools has far reaching impacts — from the drivers to the students.
“I know that driving a bus is very often an overlooked job, but if we don’t have bus drivers we don’t have students getting to school to get the education they need,” Aiken County School teacher Carina McGee said.
The shortage means additional routes for drivers and longer work days.
“It can delay routes if you have drivers who are having to drive multiple routes in the same day to get all the students back and forth to school,” Jennifer Hart, ACSS Chief Officer of Human Resources and Administration said.
The Aiken county school system is now offering an incentive to get more drivers into buses.
A $1,000 dollar sign on bonus for new drivers would include full and part time employees.
Current drivers are also able to receive a retention bonus of up to $2,000 dollars.
“We’re happy to offer both — a sign on bonus for someone new coming on board as well as a retention bonus for those who individuals who are and will continue to work hard to meet the needs of our students,” Hart said.
Aiken County teacher Carina McGee said its a great start to get more drivers and keep current ones.
“I am glad that we are starting to look at incentivizing new bus drivers and celebrating the drivers that we do have,” McGee said.
She also said its a step in the right direction to addressing an ongoing problem.
“Recognizing that there is a problem and being able to address the problem as quickly as we can to make sure that we can solve it instead of just letting it get worse.”