Low pay, student behavioral issues lead to ongoing bus driver shortage

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — The bus driver shortage in Central Florida is only getting worse.


Some in Brevard County are calling it a crisis, with nearly 100 vacancies. Bus drivers said the issue isn’t getting any better.

The issue has plagued the industry since the pandemic. Drivers are resigning or retiring, and school districts aren’t getting enough applicants to fill the openings, which are offering some of the lowest pay in Central Florida.

The shortage has gotten so bad that some drivers say they’ve even seen principals get on the buses to accompany drivers and keep an eye on students.

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In Brevard County, there are currently 95 bus driver vacancies. With a starting hourly pay of $15, the school district is having trouble getting applicants, despite the benefits and incentives such as the district paying for CDL training..

The problem extends further than Brevard County, but salaries are higher.

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In Orange County, the district is looking to hire about 100 drivers as well, with hourly pay starting at $16.65 an hour.

In Osceola County, the district wants to hire 35 drivers starting at $16.50.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.