Toms River renews $ 3,000 incentive for new school bus drivers
TOMS RIVER, NJ – The Toms River Regional School District has renewed an offer of $ 3,000 to new bus drivers who are hired and stay with the district for a year.
The retention incentive was one of Toms River’s efforts to get drivers to work for the school district, which is short of nearly 50 drivers, between full-time positions and substitutes.
The driver shortage is a nationwide problem that has been brewing for some time as fewer people continued to work due to federal requirements to obtain a commercial driver’s license, as well as specialized training to be certified to operate a vehicle. tourist and a school bus.
The coronavirus pandemic has turned it into a crisis, as many districts have faced additional retirements from older drivers who do not want to put their health at risk from the virus. Many school bus drivers are people who have worked part-time to drive students after retiring from another career.
In Toms River, the shortage has caused problems for sports and extracurricular activities, resulting in the postponement of college junior and freshman competitions due to the lack of buses to bring teams to away games.
The shortage of bus drivers has affected private companies as well as public schools and as a result they have not been a resource for schools. Acting Superintendent Stephen Genco said Toms River had tried to hire private bus companies to meet some of the needs, but private companies had refused to bid on bus rides. Read more: Bus driver shortage: Toms River forced to postpone sports matches
The Toms River Incentive Program offers $ 3,000 to drivers hired before November 30 who stay at least one year and work 25 hours a week or more. The premium is payable in two installments, at 6 months of employment and after 12 months, for any person holding the CDL and endorsements for passengers, school buses and speedbrakes.