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Jenks Public Schools bus routes could see delays due to driver shortage

Posted at 10:16 PM, Sep 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 23:23:56-04

TULSA, Okla.  — Jenks Public Schools announced Friday several of their bus routes may experience delays due to a bus driver shortage.

“Right now we are in definite need of drivers like many districts across the state,” Mark Rubey, director of personnel for the Jenks Public Schools said.

He said they currently have ten driver openings.

“We also have a bus assistant position and there’s five of those positions that are currently open,” he said.

Jenks Public Schools is one of the hundreds of school districts impacted by the bus driver shortage.

“Some of them have been asked, called upon to drive extra routes, you know, so if there’s a driver who is out and we need to get that position covered, other drivers basically step up,” he said.

Rubey said the need for bus drivers was there before COVID-19. He said some have retired while others have sought other jobs, but the pandemic has certainly increased the demand and the challenge to fill those vacancies.

“With the pandemic the past two years, that’s obviously caused maybe some anxiety among people to work at a school district and work around multiple individuals, I would think that’s definitely been one factor,” he said.

Rubey said the shortage puts a time constraint on bus routes schedules. With many drivers covering additional routes, he said it's likely some families will experience bus delays.

“It could cause their kiddos to maybe arrive later than usual, or be picked up in the morning later than usual,” Rubey said.

The district released a letter notifying parents about the shortage. He is asking families for patience as they work to fill those openings.

He said anyone interested in becoming a bus driver for the district can apply for the position on the school district's website.

Bus drivers require a commercial driver's license or CDL. Rubey said training for it usually takes up to two months and then they must take a test and pass it.

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