MOBILE, Ala. (WALA)- The COVID-19 pandemic taking its toll on school bus routes across the country. The Mobile County Public School System is no exception.
“It’s always difficult to find bus drivers in any given year, but of course with COVID everyone is experiencing shortages so we are having a shortage of bus drivers,” said Rena Philips.
The Mobile County Public School System has about 600 bus drivers and typically runs 600 to 700 routes a day. Rena Philips with the school system says the number of drivers varies daily and weekly. The transportation department has been able to adjust bus routes as needed.
“We also have drivers that will do multiple routes and that’s how we’re getting around doing that,” said Philips. “We do have some other employees that can step in and do routes as needed.”
Combining routes has its own challenges. The extra stops and driver shortages sometimes cause busses to run late. The school system says parents will be notified when this happens and that all students will continue to get to school safely.
“There may be a time when there is a delay with a bus route but our schools are doing a good job of letting parents know when that happens,” said Philips. “We’re doing the best we can to staff those buses and get our children to school. We have been able to get all of our children to school.”
The Mobile County Public School System does have openings on its website for bus drivers. Those interested will have to go through the proper training including having a CDL license.