School bus driver incentives approved to help shortage ‘crisis’

Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS, Fla.- The Lee County School District says it’s dealing with too many students and not enough bus drivers.

Parents and students are noticing as complaints related to the overcrowded and late buses pour in. The school district says it has now approved short-term incentives up to $31,000 for new drivers who are employed for more than 30 days.

A Fort Myers family tells WINK News they are desperate for a solution.

“We rely on the public transportation and it’s really a hassle because if the bus is taking long, it really puts a toll on our family income because we cannot afford to be late to work, we’ll get suspended,” said mother Karla Llanos.

Llanos says her kindergarten daughter’s bus is late up to 40 minutes some days. So she contacted the school system.

“They told me that they didn’t have enough staff and the staff they have now have been overloaded with extra routes and students,” said Llanos.

The staff is aware of the problem and they’re hoping they can fix it.

“Right now we have a bus operator for every bus, 750 routes, but I only have about 25 substitutes. We need about another 100 substitutes,” said Lee County Schools Transportation Director Robert Morgan.

Morgan says up to 15 percent of drivers are sick or on vacation each day.

“It’s not fair to the parents, it’s not fair to the students, regardless of the price to have these students home on time is well worth the money,” said Morgan.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.