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Statewide school bus driver shortage could last three years

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31931 2011 Blue Bird 77 Maximum Passenger School Bus by bsabarnowl is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
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Some school districts in Michigan are rethinking school bus routes because they don’t have enough drivers, and bus transportation experts say there’s no quick solution.

School bus consultant Mac Dashney said the pandemic caused a dip in available bus drivers.

“So it was a combination of COVID-19, the pandemic, being out of work, and the aging population of our school bus drivers basically led to a perfect storm of people leaving the profession.”

To try and solve the issue, Dashney says school districts are moving to a “multimodal approach.” That means parents might have to be on standby to take their children to school, and buses may take longer to pick up and drop off kids.

Dashney says school districts and transportation services have taken steps like raising wages and adding benefits to attract more drivers, but they’re still running short on workers.