DES MOINES, Iowa – Des Moines Public Schools is still looking for bus drivers more than half way through the school year.
The shortage has caused changes to current bus routes, among other things.
DMPS Director of Communications Phil Roeder said the district is offering a $2,000 sign on bonus to anyone who helps fill the current 18 driver positions.
“They have to have the CDL, commercial driver’s license, which is what is required by law to drive school buses and a number of other large commercial vehicles. People who don’t have that license, we’ll get them trained. We’ll take care of that,” Roeder said.
The district is looking for two additional mechanics as well.
Roeder said the sign on bonus is offered to anyone who fills a driver, dispatcher, and mechanic position.
DMPS has 100 different bus routes each day and safely transports 11,000 of its students.
Roeder said having a partnership with Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority has helped with getting high school students to and from school.
“Our biggest challenge really now is simply the job market here in central Iowa. The fact that unemployment is relatively low. That puts a lot of pressure on every major employer,” Roeder said.
Roeder said parents can use the “Here Comes the Bus App” to track a student's bus. The app allows parents to see how close their child’s ride is or if there are any delays.
DMPS currently has 115 drivers on staff. The district owns 136 buses.
The district has a job fair March 9th for people interested in job openings.