Lack of school bus drivers could cause route delays in Pinellas County

Posted at 2:27 AM, Aug 01, 2017

With school starting back up, Pinellas County is looking for drivers to get behind the wheel of at least 30 school buses.

"You got young kids waiting at the bus stop and parents are waiting, and they're getting antsy,” said Joseph Camera, a bus driver in Pinellas County.

Camera says that is the last thing they want when starting a new school year.

"We depend on the other drivers to pick up the slack,” said Camera.

RELATED | Pinellas County Schools is looking to hire 100 bus drivers for the 2017-2018 school year

A lack of drivers could mean kids do not arrive at school on time. Turnover is not new for the district. Drivers leave for various reasons which is why the Transportation Department is always looking for qualified people to fill the open spots.

So far this year the district hired 70 new drivers. Camera says sometimes other employees from other departments will step in to fill the void until openings are filled.

"That may come from the mechanic shop, it may be actual supervisors getting out on the road - anybody that is available and qualified will be out on a bus working to get children to school,” Camera said.

Training for new drivers takes about four weeks so anyone hired right now will not be ready for the first few weeks of school.The county says it will make do.

A recruiting session for potential bus drivers is being held on Monday, August 7 from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. at St. Petersburg College's Midtown Campus located at 1300 22nd Street South in St. Petersburg.

The Hillsborough County School District is also looking to hire school bus drivers: Click here to apply.