As school nears, Bourbon County faces bus driver shortage

Photo: WKYT/Lauren Minor
Photo: WKYT/Lauren Minor(WKYT)
Published: Aug. 2, 2018 at 3:52 PM EDT
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A bus has been parked outside Bourbon County Middle School since early this summer, encouraging people to apply as bus drivers for the school district. So far, however, the district says it’s struggling to staff the positions.

According to officials with Bourbon County Schools, they are still three drivers short for the school year, with less than a week before classes begin. Currently, mechanics who work for the district and are certified to drive will fill in.

Jim Cleaver, Director of Transportation, has been working for the school district since the 1970's.

He says each bus driver must be certified and go through a set amount of training hours. Cleaver says being a school bus driver has a lot of benefits but it also comes with big responsibility, adding that kid’s safety always comes first.

"You have 66 hearts beating behind you,” says Cleaver. “You always have to keep that in mind, and I just told my drivers the other day, I will never put someone behind the wheel if I won't put my own child on the bus."

The bus driver shortage in Bourbon County isn’t a new problem. The superintendent says it’s a yearly challenge to fill the driver’s seats.

Those interested in applying to drive buses for Bourbon County are encouraged to call the Bourbon County Central Office at (859) 987-2180.