Roanoke City School Board addresses bus driver shortages, route delays

Durham School Services says they are short nearly 35 bus drivers for Roanoke City Schools.

ROANOKE, Va. – Durham School Services came before the Roanoke City School Board on Tuesday night to address some of the concerns regarding bus route delays and staffing shortages.

The district started Tuesday with more than 25 buses delayed, and some were delayed up to an hour.

WSLS 10 reached out to other districts in the area to see some of the staffing shortages they are seeing when it comes to buses.

Durham School Services, the transportation provider for Roanoke City Schools, spoke with the school board after months of concerns regarding bus routes being delayed.

The district, like many others in the country, is experiencing a major bus driver shortage.

John Ziegler, the Director of Business Development for Durham School Services, gave an idea of just how many bus drivers they need.

“We need at least 35 bus drivers and when we get 35 more, we’re going to keep hiring more. We will never stop hiring bus drivers, we can never have enough,” Ziegler said.

Durham has been able to hire 25 bus drivers since the beginning of the year, but it takes six to eight weeks to get drivers certified and on the routes. Then when drivers call out sick, others are asked to pick up double routes for more money.

Board Member Diane Casola suggested further incentivizing those who are putting in more work.

“Are we looking at some additional incentive to help drivers want to do those more challenging double-runs? Is that something you’ve considered or is that an option?” Casola asked.

Casola also mentioned how critical the relationship between bus drivers and their district is.

“If we can’t rely on you, we can’t do our job of educating our children. So we really need you, and we need to work together to solve these problems,” Casola said.

Durham is continuing to address some concerns in terms of disciplinary action and driver safety when it comes to incidents that could happen on their routes.

If you have any concerns about Roanoke City school buses, you can share them with us here.

About the Author

Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.

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