By: Mark Burdette | Posted: Sept. 7, 2018
The Clendenin Leader recently reached out to Briana Warner, Communications Director with Kanawha County Schools to learn more about the bus shortage that is currently affecting the Elk River area.
According to Warner the Elkview bus garage is the largest terminal in Kanawha County and is currently operating with a 35% shortage of drivers/runs being taken every day.
We offered Warner the opportunity to offer a statement to help the Elk River Community understand what exactly is going on and what they can do to help.
Here is the current list of open runs (meaning no permanent full-time assigned driver) or ones that cannot be run due to no drivers:
709 / 702 / 1103 /1109 / 1121 / 1114 / 1118 / 1204 / 1205 / 1211 / 1212 / 1213 / 1214 / 1215 / 1218 / 1219/ 1221 = total of 17 runs. “To break it down farther if you estimate 50 students per run x 3 runs per morning and 3 runs per afternoon = around 5,000 seats that cannot be offered to our students”, said Warner.
Currently, KCS has multiclass employees (mechanics, technicians, other transportation staff) running 1204, 1211, 1212, 1213, 1214.
The Kanawha County Board of Education and the Executive Director of Transportation are working on streamlining the training process so that they can maintain training and safety standards, but also move interested applicants through the process more quickly.
Anyone interested in becoming a bus driver can apply here:
A training class begins on Monday, Sept. 10 and they are working on further training classes now.
We have received several comments from concerned parents about the later start time in Kanawha County and asked Warner to comment on that issue as well.
Warner stated, “All of this is happening separately from the bell schedule change. If we ran last year’s schedule, we would be in a worse situation with more problems. This year’s schedule was designed for efficiency, but due to the shortage, we are not able to run as it is designed.”
Warner provided us the following link with additional details regarding the bus driver shortage and encourages everyone to take time to review.
The Elk River Community can help by sharing this important information and encourage anyone looking for a job to apply.
The Clendenin Leader will continue to follow-up on this story so please stay tuned.