Talawanda officials optimistic about bus driver shortage

By Enxun Zhu

One month ago, a shortage of substitute bus drivers prompted Talawanda School District

Superintendent Edward Theroux to ask that families “have a Plan B ready” in case a bus was not available to deliver their child to extracurricular activities from school. 

Officials say the situation has improved.

“We got two new drivers who are training now, and we have three drivers in the pipeline,” said Lisa Rader, assistant manager of Petermann LTD, the bus company which cooperates with Talawanda School. “We haven’t missed any kids! And we haven’t canceled any routes.”

There are no vacancies for regular bus drivers at Talawanda. However, Petermann is still seeking five or six substitute drivers, who would not work on a daily basis.

Because of the bus driver shortage, Talawanda has to make some adjustments. 

“We have prioritized our busing. Getting students to and from schools is our first priority,” said  Theroux. “The second priority is extracurricular activities. Third is field trips.”

Theroux said that so far, only one event has been canceled because of transportation problems. 

Rader said the driver shortage is nationwide and extends to businesses like food delivery. She said the lack of bus drivers has caused companies to cancel routes in Kings Local Schools in Mason, for example.