The effects of the bus driver shortage on Spectrum


Natalie Fischer

A screen cap of the Northstar Bussing Website

Not everyone understands how challenging it is… all of their mechanics, their administrative, everybody who is in the office, they drive because they’re short on drivers.

— Dan Debruyn

Across the country, bus drivers are not only rare, but the number of those driving school busses is rapidly depleting.

According to “Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the job [a school bus driver] has become even less appealing due to health concerns. Many drivers who were furloughed during the 2020 lockdown retired or didn’t keep their licenses current due to DMV closures.”

Late and sometimes nonexistent busses cause chronic tardiness for some students. Makayla Taylor, a freshman at Spectrum says, “I’ve been getting to school late some days and it is impacting when I’m late to class and sometimes teachers have already started talking and teaching.” 

The chronic tardiness of students also hurts teachers, Executive Director Dan Debruyn mentions its “our teachers are impacted because when busses come in 30 minutes late, it affects their first and fifth hour classes.

Luckily, Spectrum has several safety nets in place. Working with Northstar Bussing, as well as our own drivers, our transportation team works hard to make sure students can get to school. From condensing bus routes to having our own vans pick up any kids left stranded by the bussing shortages, Spectrum is making its best efforts to problem solve along the way.

But what can a student do to help? Makayla poses a solution; “I think kids are not very nice to the bus driver, so I think maybe just showing that they are appreciated and more people would like to be a bus driver.”

So show some patience, kindness and thank bus drivers for the hard work they put in everyday to help get kids to school everyday.