Richmond County schools seek help in bus driver shortage

Published: May. 5, 2022 at 7:16 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - It’s a problem we continue to follow. A shortage of bus drivers in our local school districts.

Richmond County school leaders tell us it’s only getting worse.

We talked to drivers and the district about what needs to be fixed moving forward.

Bus drivers tell us they’re dealing with a lot more than what’s under their job description. How much the position pays is one reason drivers say they’re struggling.

We spoke with Richmond County Bus Driver Christopher Mulliens almost two months ago.

“We are still having major issues, especially with unruly kids,” he said.

Bad behavior from students, parents using bad language toward him, and buses breaking down are leaving more driver seats empty.

“It seems that it’s getting worse as the year progresses and we’re towards the end of the year now and just today and last week two of my co-workers were threatened,” he said.

Over the past year, he has yet to see board members step into their shoes.

“If you would honestly get on the bus and see what is going on you would see a lot of what bus drivers are going through,” said Mulliens.

Shawnda Riffin, District 1 RCSS said: “We are taking steps and making efforts to get more drivers into our school system.”

Besides holding a job fair, offering incentives, and giving out bonuses, open positions continue to stay high. The district says they won’t be increasing wages for drivers anytime soon.

“We’re trying on our part as a system to make it better for you all. I hear your suggestions and I take them right back to our colleagues,” she said.

Drivers and the district say having the community step up is the only solution right now as drivers continue to work through the summer.

“We really are asking our drivers to talk with their friends, neighbors, and share on their social media pages,” she said.

Mulleins said: “It really takes everybody getting involved to fix the situation.”

To apply, visit RCSS.

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