BASTROP COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — School bus drivers are still in demand across the nation, and shortages of drivers have caused ongoing issues for districts. Bastrop ISD is the latest in Central Texas to be affected by the issue.
Currently, the district has 72 bus drivers and 16 vacancies, however, they aim to have an additional 10 so that the district doesn’t have to use office staff and mechanics as drivers, Kristi Lee, the Deputy Superintendent explained.
Bastrop ISD has had some routes temporarily suspended as a result of driver shortages. Lee said the suspensions have been intermittent and the routes that are suspended vary.
On Thursday, there were four bus routes suspended, but on Friday, five were suspended. However, three of those five were only suspended for a day. The other two will be provided Monday through a shuttle service.
The district is offering incentives to try to fill the open positions. They’re offering a $2,500 referral bonus to current GoldStar employees if they bring an experienced driver to the Bastrop ISD staff. There’s also a $5,000 signing bonus to experienced drivers who join. PTAs also have the opportunity to receive a $2,500 bonus if they help bring on an experienced driver.
“We need qualified, committed folks who want to serve in this capacity,” Lee said. “Thankfully, we have a number of folks who are going through the CDL training process right now, and we look forward to getting them into buses permanently as soon as they complete training and pass their CDL exam.”
Starting pay is $19.25 per hour. Those interested can apply online.