How the Nationwide Bus Shortage is Affecting Schools in Ohio

Hudson Slater

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With the bus driver shortage being so bad right now, more than 600 Ohio school districts are short on bus drivers needed. With this shortage of bus drivers, kids are having to wait even longer on the buses and the drivers are having to double up their routes. For some students the bus is the only form of transportation available to them and with the number of bus drivers decreasing, kids could be getting to school late and potentially missing classes. With some private schools not providing their own transportation, buses from different school districts are having to pick up the students, which means certain districts of kids will be impacted more than others. Certain districts have already started to offer more money to find bus drivers, but that hasn’t made it any easier in their search.

Governor Mike DeWine has already stated that Ohio National Guards could potentially be deployed in many different ways during the pandemic. “They’ve done all kinds of things; from giving tests, shots, and working at food banks. It’s certainly not out of the consideration that it would be a possibility,” DeWine said. Other states have already sent out as many as 250 National Guards to drive school vans. With a third of the bus drivers either sick or retiring, finding people to fill in amid Corona Virus is almost impossible.

Schools have been struggling to find drivers for years because of the low pay, little benefit, and crazy schedules, but now because of the government’s pandemic unemployment benefits it’s even harder to find workers for this job.  If finding bus drivers is an ongoing problem we might see routes being canceled, causing kids to find a different source of transportation and possibly interfering with parents’ work schedules.

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