ACPS buying ‘Type A’ buses as driver recruiting tactic

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 2:52 PM EDT
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Albemarle County Public Schools is getting creative, trying to find ways to solve its shortage of bus drivers.

“We’re having to do what we call double backs, double runs. That means we bring in one load and come back and get another. We’re also having to do what is called split out runs. That means we put more than one group of children on the bus,” ACPS Director of Transportation Charmane White said.

ACPS is planning on purchasing two “Type A” buses to meet the need, because this classification doesn’t require a commercial driver’s license, which could make recruitment easier for the county. These buses are smaller, holding about 14 passengers.

“We put the Type A buses in some locations where we don’t have as many students riding it, and then we can move those drivers to the vacant routes,” White said.

They’re also cheaper than the average school bus, costing $74,000 to $78,000. Normal school buses are around $100,000 to $125,000. The county is expecting to roll out the new buses next fall.

“We want to make sure that we’re making the right investment,” White said.

White says the county is analyzing route designs to make sure everyone has a safe and reliable ride to school, while also opening a new position within the transportation department to monitor route designs, analyze procedures and bus purchases.

Albemarle County is also planning on holding a job fair Saturday, May 21. For more information, visit the county’s transportation page here.

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