School Bus Inc. sees shortage of bus drivers six weeks before school starts


There are only six weeks left before kids head back to school in Sioux Falls.
While families might not be ready to start preparing, there’s one business in town that needs some help.

School Bus Inc. has about 50 drivers ready to drive kids in the Sioux Falls school district.

But that’s not enough.

“To start the school year we need thirty additional drivers to start the school year, so we need those. It takes a month to get those trained and get them licensed at minimum.

We’re six weeks out, basically, from the first day of school so we really need people to come in and fill out an application and be willing to drive the kids to school,” manager of School Bus Inc., Jim Shafer said.

AJ DeGelder has spent the last five years behind the wheel of a bus. He says the best part of his job is working with kids.

And if you’re nervous about driving a school bus, you can come down to School Bus Inc. and take one for a spin around their parking lot.

“When you talk to people they say, ‘well I can’t drive a bus that big.’ It’s really not that bad. It’s a little bit like driving your car once you get used to it,” Shafer said.

But even if you don’t want to drive the school route, there are other options.

“We do other charters where we take children to the Washington Pavilion, maybe going to take them out swimming for the day or out to a dairy farm in Iowa. So there’s a lot of possibilities,” DeGelder said.

Possibilities that this bus driver recommends.

To become a bus driver, you need a commercial driver’s license. There’s also a written test and a physical. School Bus Inc will help you through the process.

Starting paying is usually between $18 and $19 an hour. If you’d like to apply, visit the School Bus Inc. website to find out how.

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