20 MPH PIX
2SAFESCHOOLS LOGO
SEPTEMBER - 1999
THE PURPOSE OF THIS SITE IS TO SAVE ONE CHILD'S LIFE

Front Page Mast

CONTENTS

Welcome

E-Mail

PICK-UP OR SEND
FREE PIX

Miss a story?
Click On
Archives.

Today's History
Today In History

ADULT TO ADULT
Sticks & Stones

Cick for webrings

HS Shooting Click here for dozens of stories on the Columbine High School massacre in Littleton, Colorado.
(Click on CANDLE at bottom of this page for memorials.)

HR1605
Why the push for restraints on school buses? To find out click on Langford ,
2safeschools Notes , NCSBS , PASS ,
In Loving Memory , Busbelts and
Safe-T-Bar

To Tell
or Not To Tell? Click On
Whistleblower.


Facts,
Figures
& Quotes

Surveys
& Polls

DELPHI
Discussion Board

Public
Comments
Letters To Editor

Awards
Center




Training Mast

Kids In Charge

Love & Logic

Defensive Parenting For
The 21st Century

Back In Control

Strategies

Yellow Tin Can

Operation School Bus Safety

World of Difference Institute

Kidsafe

Bus Safety Team

Get Safely to School

More Links



Stories Logo
Stories you can read to your kids

The Lands Beyond Santa City

The Swimming Pool

Quaker Oats

The Way it Was

Your Short Story



LINKS

OCR

Dept. of

Education

National PTA

Job Bank

LINKS-LINKS
and more links. Click On
LINKS

GEOCITIES

DELPHI

Amazon

In Loving Memory
IN LOVING MEMORY

LINK IMAGES
Link Images For Your Site

SEARCH

VISITORS
AUGUST

4,211

School Bus Pix

America struggles with the school bus driver shortage

The School Bus Driver shortage!

More drivers are leaving the proffession and fewer are signing up. Where have all the school bus drivers gone? And why?

Your Thought

The combination of a school bus driver shortage and inadequate funding has never been as serious as it is this school year. In Virginia and other areas of the country some districts are adjusting school bell times and distance from school to ride in order to meet the available buses and funding. This indepth article from Schoolbus Fleet helps "nail-down" the issues and offers a nation of ideas on how to help solve them. Parents, school staff and the press taking the time to study this article will likely find themselves equipped to have a knowledgeable conversation with other adults. (jk)

Steve Hirano Pix By Steve Hirano
Editor/Associate Publisher with Schoolbus Fleet Magazine. First published by Schoolbus Fleet Magazine, original story title, CONTRACTORS STRUGGLE WITH DRIVER SHORTAGE, LOW RATE INCREASES published June/July 1999, Copyright 1999, All Rights Reserved. Posted by permission from Schoolbus Fleet Magazine.

Schoolbus Fleet Magazine
The driver shortage continues to be a significant operational challenge for most school bus companies — an unwelcome burden for an industry sector that is also experiencing intensified competition for contracts and meager annual rate increases. These findings, among others, are examined in SBF's exclusive contractor survey, published annually in the June/July issue.

The Nation - For the past several years, full-time job opportunities created by the robust U.S. economy have limited the pool of applicants for school bus driving positions. School districts and contractors have responded by redoubling their recruitment and retention efforts, but the driver shortage has not dissipated. According to the survey about 71 percent of the respondents report that they're experiencing a driver shortage.

CHECK THAT BUS!

Find out how to safety check a field trip bus before allowing it to depart with kids on board.
Click Here

FREE School Bus Safety Video
Click Here

2SAFESCHOOLS Transportation Policy Recommendation
Click Here
"Because of the driver shortage, all management personnel are driving," complained a contractor in Pennsylvania.

And some believe the situation is only going to get worse.

When asked what they believe will be the biggest change in school transportation in the 21st century, many respondents pointed to the hiring and licensing of drivers.

  • "Tougher standards in the licensing of drivers," one New Jersey contractor said.
  • "Increased demand for qualified drivers," said a contractor based in Kansas.
  • "Fewer drivers" was the simple but discouraging answer of a Wisconsin contractor.

The most pessimistic reply came from a New Hampshire contractor who believes that drivers will become "non-existent" in the next century.

The driver shortage certainly will challenge contractors in the coming years, especially with increasing concerns about behavior problems aboard the bus. The issue of personal safety, in the wake of the Littleton, Colo., massacre, also applies pressure to school bus companies trying to hire and retain drivers. A New Jersey contractor ominously predicts the "death of a school bus driver due to student violence."

New strategies needed

Some respondents believe that the industry will have to make some concessions to alleviate the driver shortage.

  • "To attract quality drivers, I believe we'll have to offer more benefits for a part-time job," said a contractor in Wisconsin.
  • A move to "full-time drivers" was mentioned by a New York contractor.

Another believes that bus monitors will become more common on school buses. These monitors could have dual roles to help drivers with behavior management and to ensure that the children are buckled up. Yes, buckled up. Many contractors believe that seat belts on all school buses will become a mandate in the next century.

The driver shortage, notwithstanding, contractors are feeling other pressures, too. Many believe that competition has heated up. Slightly more than 44 percent of the respondents said that competition for contracts is "getting tougher." About half (51.5 percent) said that competition "remains the same," while only 4.4 percent said that competition is "getting easier."

Respondents were not asked to specify how or why competition has increased, decreased or stayed the same, but many mentioned increased consolidation as an expected change in the next century. "Larger companies gobbling up the little ones" is how one respondent described it.

There's no doubt that school bus companies will continue to consolidate in the next several years. But the effect of these mergers and acquisitions has been hard to pin down. In some cases it has reduced the competition.

For example, if a large company buys a smaller one that competed for contracts in the same area, it has effectively reduced its competition.

However, assuming the large company has economies of scale that its smaller counterparts don't have, the small companies will have a harder time competing for contracts on a dollar-for-service basis.

FEATURE STORIES

Outstanding High Schools
U.S.NEWS ONLINE

Parents Guide To
Grading A School
Increasing competition from state-funded agencies was also cited. A Pennsylvania contractor said public agencies are bidding against private contractors in his area. "This is becoming a serious issue and misuse of taxpayers' funds," he said.

Increased privatization?

There is some hope for a more positive business climate, however. Many contractors believe that an increasing number of school districts will privatize their school transportation operations in the coming years, mainly because of funding pressures.

  • "The county will finally admit that contractors can operate more cheaply, as we have proven," said a Maryland contractor. Continued

NEWS FROM AROUND THE WEB



Top of Page | Directory | Comments | Discussion Board | Free Postcards | E-Mail Safe Schools
bar

Copyright 1999 James Kraemer. Click on this Copyright
Notice to view copy without charge limitations.

bar

Hosted by www.Geocities.ws


1