MARYLAND (WDVM) — A recent survey from the National School Transportation Association says over half of the school districts across the U.S. have reported their bus driver shortage as “severe” or “desperate” and Maryland school systems are feeling the effects.
On a typical school day, Montgomery County’s fleet of 1,300 school buses will take around 100,000 students over 100,000 miles. The school system has posted signs across the county letting passersby and drivers know it’s hiring for bus driver positions.
“This year, it’s even harder to get those school bus drivers lined up,” said Chrissy Nizer of MDOT MVA. “We continue to hear from school systems that they’re having trouble just attracting drivers. There are multiple requirements, not just MVA requirements. Obviously, there’re background checks, other requirements the school system have to put them through as well.”
The shortage, also due in part to a changing economy, has lead to an increase in demand for CDL drivers and has left school systems competing with online retailers using ground shipping to get more packages from Point A to Point B.
These are all reasons why MDOT MVA is holding Bus Driver Day at several MVA locations across the state on Saturday, Sept. 25 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with plenty of appointments for knowledge tests for learner’s permits and skills tests for CDLs still open at the Gaithersburg, Frederick, Waldorf, Bel Air, Easton and Glen Burnie locations.
MDOT MVA officials encourage you to shoot them an email in advance if you’re planning to come out on Saturday. If Saturday doesn’t work for you, you can still send them an email at email@example.com and they can set up another time for you to take the CDL test.