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Start of school means demand is up for bus drivers

Posted at 8:48 PM, Aug 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-27 22:48:51-04

BOZEMAN — School starts again next week in Bozeman, which means school buses will be back on the roads.

Bozeman's school district has struggled a bit with driver shortages in the past, leaving some middle school students last year without a ride to school.

The district partners with First Student to shuttle students from point A to point B and often takes drivers from across the state — and even across the country — to meet the demands.

It takes someone with a flexible schedule to fill the position.

“It's a split-shift job. Those drivers are coming in and getting up really early in the morning, driving a couple hours in the morning route and then expected to be back, you know, mid-afternoon to drive all the kids home,” said Mark Waterman, Director of Business Services for Bozeman Public Schools.

“It takes a pretty unique individual with a flexible schedule and a willingness to work around that. And really, a true passion for kids and driving the buses,” Waterman added.

The Bozeman School District is working with First Student to find creative ways to accommodate the bus drivers’ schedules.

One idea is to find additional work in schools to combine with bus driving.