DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli says the school district is short bus drivers, and looking to hire.

Lolli says the school currently has nearly 150 bus routes with only 132 bus drivers. The lack of drivers is making it difficult to keep up with the demand of routes. “Many times the routes are uncovered, so they have to double back. I finish my route, and I go back and do another route,” said Lolli.

Lolli says the goal is to get about 20 more drivers, so there would be more drivers than routes. “If one driver is off then four routes go uncovered. It can effect up to 2200 students for example,” said Lolli.

DPS Bus Driver Mary Mack drives a special needs bus for the district and is fully vaccinated. Mack says she believes many drivers have quit because of health scares due to COVID-19. “The pandemic is a big part of it, but just not having the drivers that we need to you know commit to the tasks that we have every day has been a great challenge as well,” said Mack.

Recruitment plans have been put in place to get more people to drive buses for DPS. “Any member of the transportation union, they or their family can earn an associates degree all the way up through a bachelors degree now that the union will pay for,” said Lolli. Drivers who also bring people in to drive buses could also see a bonus in their check.

Superintendent Lolli says the need for bus drivers will also increase, as DPS plans to move back to in-person learning.

“A very limited number of students will be remote next year, they’re the students who have underlying health conditions. Dayton Public Schools is a face to face school district. We’ll provide services to students who have health conditions, but that’s just a handful at this point,” said Lolli.

Click here to apply to become a DPS Bus Driver.