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School districts in mid-Michigan face bus shortage. Dean Transportation is working to solve the problem.

Posted at 9:57 AM, Aug 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 09:57:41-04

LANSING, Mich. — School districts across the state are experiencing a bus driver shortage. Here in mid-Michigan, Dean Transportation says they're working to fix the problem.

"We've increased pay. Dean Transportation drivers had the opportunity to start up the $21 an hour for their regular routes, which we have routes available for folks that want to work every day. We also have substitute positions and what we call on call so folks that may want to work one or two days a week for us in various roles," said Vice President of Dean Transportation Patrick Dean.

Dean said the shortage is a result of schools operating largely online for more than a year. He said shortage can force route consolidation, mean that fewer buses are available for extracurricular events and that there are aren't as many drivers available to cover employee absences.

Dean Transportation has 200 positions but needs 30 more drivers. Dean said they’re offering $750 sign-on bonus to encourage more people to apply.

While districts are experiencing a bus driver shortage, Patrick Dean believes parents and students should show appreciation for the drivers.

"When parents have an opportunity, please say thank you to your bus driver, because they're here daily, showing up to make sure your kids get to school," he said. "They're critical to our back-to-school year."

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