Perry Township recruits bus drivers amid nationwide shortage | ICIN

The Metropolitan School District of Perry Township has around 135 drivers and needs at least 25 more.

INDIANAPOLIS — The nationwide school bus driver shortage has been tough on bus drivers and families everywhere. Drivers in Perry Township said they realize how crucial they are to the community.

“When we are short they can’t get to school and we have no drivers there, and they’re unable to get to school. Parents have to stay home and they’re unable to provide for their families and with that, we need drivers to support our community,”  said Tamika Morse, a bus driver in Perry Township.

The district has around 135 drivers and needs at least 25 more.

Demetria Heard, the township’s transportation training supervisor, has been driving buses for 30 years and has been trying to get creative with Perry Township’s recruitment efforts, including planning a recruitment event.

“I think it really kind of fell off during the pandemic. It’s been hard to get people back in the flow across the board,” Heard said.

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Because of the shortage, drivers are having to double up on their routes which means kids are making it home later.

“We are very determined not to lose school days,” said Heard.

They hope the support for the event means the break they’ve been waiting for is coming. They doubled the number of applicants from last year within the first hour. 

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One interested candidate said this could be her way of serving the community.

Morse accepted the job after attending the same event last year. For anyone looking for a meaningful career change, she said, there is no better time than now to become a school bus driver.

“Come out, do it. It will change your life and it will change a child’s life. That’s what it’s all about,” said Morse.

The Perry Township website says starting pay is $19/hour, plus additional compensation for drivers with previous experience.

Interested applicants can apply online or call 317-789-6225.

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