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Driver shortage impacting schools across central Indiana

Metro school bus
Posted at 7:34 PM, Jul 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-27 03:19:31-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The start of school is just around the corner, and many schools across Indiana are in need of bus drivers.

"Bus driving is not all that hard, I mean it's a lot of mental stuff and you have to be able to see and hear things that you don't actually see and hear," Sean Jones who has been driving for Beech Grove City Schools for 29 years said.

Schools from Carmel to Beech Grove are searching for people to step up and drive.

"It's not an ideal situation, it's not something that we want," Tom Gearhart with Beech Grove City Schools said.

It's a need that has been ongoing for several years.

Beech Grove needs two drivers to make their fleet complete, until then they are making due by pulling administrators to drive routes.

"That has a domino effect because then our office is empty," Gearhart said.

Carmel Clay Schools is in need too. Officials say they need 30-40 more bus drivers.

It is forcing them to extend the no-bus zone.

Any student who lives roughly a mile from their school won't have transportation.

"I know that's frustrating for those families to hear that but I want them to understand that if we did have the staffing I assure them we would not go that route," Gary Clevenger with Carmel Clay Schools said.

Not only do schools need daily drivers, many need substitutes.

"That presents all kinds of problems for us if a single bus driver is absent, or takes the day off, or has a doctor's appointment of whatever," Gearhart said.

Until the need is filled, districts are left trying to staff all routes so kids can get to school.

  • Franklin Township Community Schools: routes staffed, needs substitute drivers
  • Indianapolis Public Schools: routes staffed, needs substitute drivers
  • Perry Township Schools: routes staffed, needs substitute drivers
  • New Pal Schools: staffed
  • Carmel Clay Schools: need 30-40 drivers
  • Lawrence Township Schools: staffed
  • Beech Grove City Schools: need drivers and substitutes
  • Greenwood Community Schools: need drivers
  • Franklin Community Schools: staffed
  • Decatur Township Schools: staffed, need substitutes
  • Pike Township Schools: staffed
  • Edinburgh Schools: staffed, waiting on new buses

Beech Grove Schools will pay $104-$131 a day. Carmel Clay pays $170 a day.
If you would like to apply to become a bus driver helpful links are below:

Carmel Clay:

Beach Grove:

Perry Township: