PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WROC) — It’s been an ongoing challenge for school districts across the region as communities rebuild life within the COVID-era: a bus driver shortage. On Saturday, Pittsford Central School District put on an event to open the doors for urgent positions.
“So we’d love to hire between 10 and 15 bus drivers immediately. We’re canceling anywhere between 3 to 6 to 7 bus routes in the morning, in the AM and in the afternoon so it just depends on the day,” says Mike Vespi, Assistant Superintendent for Business at Pittsford Schools.
The impact of the shortage within the Pittsford District is being felt in more ways than having to take measures to re-route stops.
“We also are relying on contract transportation and obviously that’s more costly and less efficient and effective. We’d like our own drivers to drive our busses to transport our students,” says Vespi.
During Saturday’s event, prospective drivers had a chance to learn about the hiring process, gain insight from trainers and see how the busses drive, for themselves.
“Its very satisfying to see kids get safely to and from school and the kids are, by-and-large, very fun and entertaining and engaging so having that opportunity and knowing that it’s such an important job to do and to get the kids safely where they need to go,” says John Ferr, who has been driving busses at Pittsford since 2006 and now serves as a trainer, as well.
Ferr explains that for people who are interested but unsure where to start, the first step is getting your Commercial Drivers License (CDL) via the DMV. Once you apply, there is on-the-job training.
“They will go through a very extensive training process with us. It starts with a requirement from the Federal Motorcare Safety Administration to take an online course which takes variously 8 to 12 hours to complete,” Ferr says.
Later on you move to field training, he goes on, and then get to take a road test. And Saturday’s event, despite the early morning frigid temps, still garnered about 10 applicants.
If you are interested in applying, click here: https://www.pittsfordschools.org/jobsintransportation