Drivers wanted at local school bus companies

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FAIRVIEW TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- the end of the school year is near for many students but some people are already thinking about next year.

several school bus companies in central pennsylvania are putting up the help wanted sign.

we’ve seen several school buses return to the depot here as drivers make their final runs of the day but the search for drivers never ends.

school’s almost out for summer but managers at many local school bus companies already have their minds set on going back to school this fall.

first student location manager kim paternoster said "the kids are excited for summer to begin, but we will begin a very fast paced summer which will include training and getting ready for the upcoming school year."

it’s why several school bus companies such as first student are getting a head start by hanging up a help wanted sign.

"retirement is coming, who may find other things to do, whether they’re not going to be coming back in the school year, we do have some kind of idea for that, but it does take some time to get them trained, familiar with the space, and ready for the first day of school," paternoster said.

getting the necessary cdl class b license to drive a bus takes about three weeks. That includes a week’s worth of classroom instruction and four tests from penndot before new drivers hit the road with hands on training.

tami gesner/area safety manager: it is a lot larger than your own personal vehicle, and that does intimidate a lot of people, but it is the best thing i did 20 years ago, and i’m grateful that i have done this, so teaching new people to do it, is just a passion of mine (13)

kim paternoster/location manager, first student: we are always looking for new drivers, we gave field trips and sports activities that the kids really need to go on, sometimes that could be 15 extra buses a day, on top of the home to school runs

and as these drivers head out to pick up kids some may decide to just bring their own.

first student area safety manager tami gesner said "i was a mom of a two-year-old and i needed something that worked with his schedule, he was able to come on the bus with me because we do have that program that does allow children to come on the bus with you as a parent and it does help

managers say potential drivers should have lots of patience. it also helps to like driving and of course — like kids.

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