Derry Schools Try to Deal With Bus Driver Shortage

By Alex Malm

The Derry School Board received an update regarding transportation issues they have been having during their most recent school board meeting.
Derry Superintendent, Austin Garofalo, said he was disappointed about the situation they were in.
“For complete and total transparency, I am a little frustrated that it’s the beginning of September and we’re dealing with this situation right now,” said Garofalo.
Garofalo stated they are going to solve some problems and come up with solutions both for the short term and be able to carry them over from year to year.
It was pointed out by Garofalo the biggest issue is when it comes to finding bus drivers.
“There’s no doubt about it, it’s difficult to find people,” said Garofalo.
Garofalo explained he understands the difficulties with trying to find different employees, noting that the district is dealing with the same issue.
“Bus drivers are another situation,” said Garofalo.
Garofalo said they were informed by First Student that they aren’t going to be able to provide any bus drivers or buses for after school activities on a consistent basis.
As a way to help, Garofalo said they reached out to other companies to see if they can get provided buses and were told they would be comparable in prices to what they pay now.
He said they explained to First Student that they are still their main bus company, but they need to be able to get buses for after school activities.
Garofalo stated last year parents helped to organize carpools and make sure all students on different teams had a ride. That may have to be the case again this year.
“There’s a lot of parents out there that took the bull by the horn last year,” said Garofalo.
Garofalo explained they have also been looking into using coach buses, but they know that it would be an additional cost.
We’re going to pull out all of the stops,” said Garofalo.
Garofalo said they are also hopeful that they may be able to find some people who are willing to work as bus drivers just for activities, saying they would always have a coach to supervise the student athletes on the bus.
“Those of you out there who may be looking for a little bit of extra income in the afternoons we would love to have you,” said Garofalo.
Garofalo said they would ultimately take any help that they can get.
“We need as much support as possible,” said Garofalo.

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