CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - The back-to-school period is around the corner and southern Illinois school bus companies are struggling with getting bus drivers on the road.
General Manager Bryon Poston with Durham School Services in Carbondale said their company is not the only one.
“There is a dire need for drivers, not only in Carbondale, but around the region. Everyone is having a shortage of drivers right now,” he said.
West Bus Services are seeing the same problem.
According to Poston, a part of the problem is candidates do not know about the opportunity.
“People see their kids come home, they get in off of the bus, but I don’t think it clicks that ‘hey, that’s a job I can do!'”
“Bus drivers love their kids," said bus driver Yvonne Poston.
She explained her job as a rewarding job that she didn’t think would be a part of her life plans.
“You don’t think you’re going to get attached to the kids or care about the welfare and it doesn’t take long until they got you wrapped around their finger," Poston said.
She said it gives her the freedom to be with family.
“It’s a great job, I mean I got flexible hours because I have elderly parents I need to take care of, it’s a great job for students, too," Poston said.
She believes people are fearful of the responsibility of having the children’s lives in their hands.
Durham School Services provides medical insurance, dental vision and even a retirement program.
“People don’t understand they can do a part time job and still enjoy all the full time benefits," he said.
With the new school year around the corner, Poston has one hope.
"A constant influx of quality drivers and I want to see it where I can help these folks out to where they can succeed in other areas if that’s what they wish.” Poston said.
Carbondale District Administration said they contract services with Durham School Services. They said they fully expect the transportation to be up and ready for the start of the year, and they do not anticipate this shortage having an impact on the start of the school year.