Bus driver shortage has school faculty, staff pulling double duty

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TUSCOLA, Texas (KRBC) – Becoming a bus driver isn’t easy, you must have your Class B CDL license and passenger endorsement. Jay Wise, Transportation Director, says the trickiest part is the pre-test.

“Most people do not pass it the first time, usually the second or third, and sometimes they don’t even pass it then. They have to retake it all over again,” said Wise.

The pre-test takes around 45 minutes to complete.

“You can forget one thing, and if it’s the wrong thing, you are failing. You’ve got to go over every lens, every mirror, every bell, and a lot of times nuts, bolts and you got to actually physically touch machinery to make sure it’s all secure,” said Jacob Phariss, Maintenance and Bus Driver, Jim Ned CISD.

Wise is getting other faculty to help out, like Phariss.

“We needed bus drivers, Jay contacted me and here I am,” said Phariss.

The school district currently only has two or three employees that are only bus drivers.

“Whenever we don’t have enough drivers, we get put on routes, and all of our administrators do,” said Wise.

Advertising to the community for help but with the test and pay only being $10 to 15 an hour, people give up.

“The job, a lot of time there’s not insurance with it and things like that that people need,” said Phariss.

Once you get your CDL license and are registered, you must apply at the school and will get finger printed.

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