Hoover City Schools looking to fill bus driver positions

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

HOOVER – A widespread shortage of school bus drivers is affecting school districts across the country, including Hoover City Schools.

The HCS Transportation Department is searching for candidates to fill full-time and substitute bus driver positions.

Full-time positions come with full benefits, including PEEHIP insurance, RSA retirement options and state and federal holidays.

“Bus drivers and aides have the unique opportunity to be the first and last face the students see,” HCS Transportation Director Jeremy Bradford said. “They can set the tone for the day. Our success is totally dependent on the remarkable staff we have in the transportation department.”

HCS adheres to all local, state, and federal policies and procedures related to pupil transportation.

The district has a transportation committee made up of district administrators and bus drivers who meet bimonthly to discuss current issues.

The committee also assists in updating the local transportation handbook, which is revised yearly.

Due to the proximity of the city’s neighborhoods to schools, there are double routes. For example, a driver may pick up a group of elementary students, deliver them home and then return to a school for a second route.

All routes are strictly all elementary, all middle or all high.

The following are pay and time details:

  • The average pay for drivers is about $25 an hour.
  • Substitute drivers earn $45 per shift (up to $90 per day for morning and afternoon routes).
  • Drivers can also earn a $20 per hour flat rate for field trips ($30 per hour for weekends or holidays).
  • Morning routes are typically done around 8:30 a.m., and the afternoon routes are typically completed by 5 p.m.

“I really enjoy what I do,” said Terry Harris, an HCS bus driver of 13 years. “You have so much freedom of time between routes. I take my job very seriously, but it’s just a perfect job to give you something to do after you retire or if you’re working other jobs and can fit this in. It’s perfect.”

Those interested in becoming an HCS bus driver should contact the Hoover City Schools Transportation Department at (205) 439-1120.

The National Association for Pupil Transportation, the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services and the National School Transportation Association recently conducted a joint survey of the country’s school bus driver shortage.

“While the industry seems to struggle with driver shortages each year, this year’s shortage has a different feel to it, and having the data to really understand it is invaluable,” NASDPTS Executive Director Ronna Weber wrote in a blog post. “We hear anecdotal reports all the time, but being able to point to real information will ensure we are responding to this situation in the best manner possible for our members.”

To view the results of the survey, visit Napt.org/blog_home.asp?Display=53.