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Henrico schools gives community a chance behind the wheel to pick up more bus drivers

Published: Oct. 16, 2021 at 6:56 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 16, 2021 at 7:03 PM EDT
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - As the school year continues, school divisions around the Commonwealth are facing a similar issue with vacant positions for bus drivers.

The Henrico school division says they are still in need of more than 100 drivers for this school year and because of the shortage, drivers like Edwin Claiborne have to take double or triple routes.

“It is more stressful now because you have to pay particular attention to your run to make sure that you’re running on time because the runs are a little bit longer and sometimes we have to cover absent driver runs,” Claiborne said.

Claiborne has been driving for the school division for the last five years and says every day his top priority is making sure your kids make it to and from school safely.

He says it’s an important role in the community he hopes others can realize the need for.

To get the community interested in driving, the school division hosted its second behind-the-wheel bus opportunity at Hermitage High School on Saturday.

More than 80 people from around the community were signed up to have a chance to drive one of the county’s yellow buses around the parking lot. Henrico schools say they hope this opportunity will open the door to more people wanting to drive that have no prior experience.

“Easy acceleration and of course air breaks but I think when they drive the bus they’ll feel a little bit more comfortable about applying for the job,” Claiborne said.

Some of those people who signed up were parents like Paul Mahoney, who says he’s noticed the shortage first hand.

“We have several kids that are in school and their buses are delayed from time to time actually more frequently now,” Mahoney said.

After the test drive, the school division says they’ll help those interested in the position fill out the proper paperwork to obtain your CDL and get you out on the road.

Henrico schools say they hope to hold another drive the bus event in November.

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