Districts across Tampa Bay experiencing school bus driver shortages

Local News

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – When Pasco County school leaders proposed adjusting school start and end times to deal with a school bus driver shortage, they said just about every school district is dealing with the same issue. They were right.

8 On Your Side reached out to every district in Tampa Bay and found just about everyone had a shortage of drivers.

  • Hillsborough County
    • Down 150+ drivers
    • Starting pay: $14.57/hr
  • Pinellas County
    • Down 40 drivers
    • Starting pay: $15.19/hr
  • Pasco County
    • Down 100+ drivers
    • Starting pay: $13.40/hr
  • Hernando County
    • Down 35-40 drivers
    • Starting pay: $14.15/hr
  • Polk County
    • Down 84 drivers
    • Starting pay: $14.50/hr
  • Sarasota County
    • Down 53 drivers
    • Starting pay: $15.67/hr
  • Manatee County
    • Down 39 drivers
    • Starting pay: $15.16/hr

Citrus County was the only school district to report that it did not have a shortage of drivers.

Isabel Mascarenas, a spokeswoman for the Pinellas County School District explains, school leaders have gotten creative when it comes to hiring drivers.

“We’ve looked at new ways to get the word out. Pinellas County Schools is a great place to work,” said Mascarenas. “We’ve been using electronic billboards, the marquees.”

In addition to that, she explains the district is also working to make routes more efficient.

“We’re working with a routing software company to help improve our routes,” she said. “They’ve currently already done that, made them more efficient and they’re also designing our routes for next school year.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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