Durham School Services Plans for Upcoming School Year Amid Bus Driver Shortage

Local News

UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) – The nation is facing a school bus driver shortage due to the current economic climate. As a result, the community has many questions and concerns about Durham School Services and the upcoming school year.

Durham School Services has updated their transportation plans for the Utica City School District as they struggle to find employees amid the school bus driver shortage.

“We have roughly 75 drivers to cover roughly 124 routes with the district. and that includes 20 drivers that we have brought in that are temporary drivers that are arriving here over the next two days to help us over the weekend to get ready for the routes and to operate next week,” said Brett Wester Region Manager for Upstate New York.

With the help of the school district, the company has worked out a plan that will ensure that all students will be picked up safely. Parents will be able to use a tracker app which will keep them updated on where their child’s bus is, and if its delayed.

“We are working around the clock to minimize delays so that there is as little impact to the students and the service as possible. the students will be accommodated in their classrooms during these challenging times,” said Wester.

Although the school year is beginning with this shortage, Wester says that this is a short-term problem and they are confident that more people will begin to apply as unemployment benefits end and drivers are released from other contractors due to lack of work. However, they still have a long way to go since the hiring process typically can take anywhere from two weeks to eight weeks.

“Over the last two weeks, we have seen an influx of applications coming through, but due to the delays that we’ve had with getting people through the process they are not ready yet,” said Wester.

To apply head to their website www.durhamschoolservices.com/career.

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