Kerr explained that in order for people to qualify to drive a school bus, they need to earn a Class B Commercial Drivers License or CDL. "Which is the same thing as driving a semi-truck," he said. "So, people don’t want to drive a school bus for $25 an hour when they can drive a truck full time.”
Wiggins School District decided to suspend their daily bus transportation services for the general student body.
But, EverDriven said the CDL license requirement is not a problem they have, because its drivers aren’t driving buses. Instead, they’re using their own inspected vehicles with only a few students at a time.
Bowling said drivers are screened and trained. “Background test, drug test, training specifically for student with disabilities. We monitor the driver activities. So extremely safe,” he said.
“We focus primarily on students with disabilities, foster youth and homeless students,” explained Bowling.
The hope is, schools won’t use a whole bus and a driver, when a smaller vehicle will do.
“If school districts use us for that. It allows them to use their school buses and bus drivers for general [education] students,” said Bowling. “So, what a lot of schools do use us for alternative transportation that way they can more efficiently use their buses and their drivers for general [education] students. The combination of the two works really well and is very efficient.”
Sonia Gutierrez is a multimedia journalist with Rocky Mountain PBS. You can reach her at email@example.com.