WCPSS to have bus driver for each route for first time in years

WAKE COUNTY, NC (WTVD) -- On Friday, the Wake County Public School System will release new bus routes for students attending schools on a traditional calendar year.

The district said it has one bus driver for each route for the first time in years. The district has 740 drivers for 740 routes with an additional 70 substitute drivers, officials said. They'll transport nearly 80,000 students.

"In the past, we've had to actually start out by assigning our full-time permanent subs to a route because we just simply did not have enough full-time bus drivers to cover all routes," said Bob Snidemiller, Wake County Public School System Director of Transportation.

The district said recruitment efforts, including job fairs for bus drivers, were successful.

When it comes to teachers, the district said it has 10,236 teachers with 100 openings, and they're still hiring.

"Last year we started the school year, I think we were right at 72 positions," said Jason Kennedy, WCPSS Human Resources Director of Talent Acquisition. "We're looking at replicating that same goal or less this year."

Vonda Jenkins is the Principal at the year-round Walnut Creek Elementary in Raleigh. She said things are going smoothly.

Still, officials are asking for patience, especially the first week of school.

"Bus drivers are guaranteed and certain that they will get those babies home to the parents," Jenkins said. "So it's just important to be patient. Call the school if necessary, don't panic."

Snidemiller said drivers have practiced their routes. He said parents should expect similar bus routes this year.

"We are opening four new schools and in those areas, there may be some slight changes to bus routes because we've got to service those schools with the same buses," he said. "So in those areas, there may be some changes but for the most part everything is pretty much the same as it was last year."

Click here to see when bus routes will be posted.

Once students are in school, parents can track buses on the "Here comes the bus" app.
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