MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – Many parents depend on school buses to get their student to school. The transportation department is responsible for getting almost 24,000 kids to school on time. They also can’t keep kids on the bus for more than 75 minutes at a time. The department is feeling added pressure this year because they don’t have nearly enough employees.
Bus drivers are the people you depend on, to get your kids to class on time. But Horry County schools says there are not enough of them. Transportation director Jim Wright says it’s a big problem.
“We currently have 34 vacancies, we have an additional 17 out on extended medical leave.”
Wright says that’s 51 people total. They work a split shift and make no more than $12 an hour.
“Our drivers are on the very bottom of the pay scale.”
Not to mention, there’s a six week long process drivers must go through before they run their first route.
Lately, less than ten people show up for a training class.
“Out of those six only four stayed in the class so technically it was really just four after Tuesday of the whole week, it makes it very challenging. It’s tough.”
We wanted to know how this could impact students. Wright says it doesn’t, but it means long days for transportation workers.
“I’m at that office like fourteen hours a day.”
And his days will likely stay long.
“I’ve been in this business for a very long time. We have a lot of our drivers that will leave transportation to take other positions in the district we’ve never had it in reverse.”
Wright says he’s working on better benefits for what many deem a hard job, but a very important one.
“Our drivers need to be paid more, that’s number one. I think we have to be able to attract more people to the position as a professional bus driver.”
If you want to apply, visit https://www.applitrack.com/horry/onlineapp/default.aspx?Category=Transportation.