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Navigating the bus driver shortage

Newswatch 16's Amanda Eustice spoke with East Stroudsburg Area School District officials about what they're doing to get more people in the driver's seat.

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. — There's no shortage of school buses at the East Stroudsburg Area School District bus lot behind J.T. Lambert Intermediate School, but there is a shortage of drivers.

"Last year was the hardest year I think any bus driver has had to endure because of the lack of drivers," said Maryann Rosario, a bus driver with the school district.

Rosario believes this year could be just as bad, if not worse. She says the district hopes to get more people behind the wheel because the lack of drivers is putting strain on her and her fellow employees.

"You figure we're driving three, four hours in the morning, three, four hours in the afternoon; that's a lot of driving for one person. So, imagine having to do multiple runs for multiple drivers. It can be stressful."

The district is looking for full-time drivers and substitutes. Damaris Robins, the director of transportation, says becoming a bus driver has its benefits.

"You have a split shift, so it gives you the opportunity to go home and handle some of your affairs during the middle of the day. If you have to go home and cook and clean, you have the time to do so. Get back out, pick up the students, get home by the time your student gets home and half of your work is done."

Robins says that in addition to offering different positions, the district is hosting free CDL classes to help people get the training they need to transport kids to and from school.

The district is looking to hire two dozen drivers.

"We have a class starting on (August) 22 to 25, and the classes start at 5 o'clock. So it's from 5 to 8:30, and again, they're free, no charge. We used to charge; now, we're just offering them for free to get anybody in here so they can come on board and transport our students."

If you're interested in becoming a bus driver, more information is available here.

**UPDATE: Days have been changed to: August 22, 23, 24, and 25th**

Posted by East Stroudsburg Area School District on Monday, August 8, 2022

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