ASD expects to have full roster of school bus drivers for upcoming school year

Anchorage School District feeling confident it will have enough bus drivers for the start of the school year
Published: Jul. 19, 2023 at 3:14 PM AKDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage School District is feeling confident it will have enough bus drivers for the start of the school year, one year after a severe bus driver shortage forced a rotating schedule that left thousands of students without service for weeks.

Heather Philp, director of transportation services for the Anchorage School District, said the district has commitments from 220 drivers who say they’ll be ready for work when school starts Aug. 17. Even though that’s about seven positions short of what ASD needs to cover all its routes, Philp said she is hopeful the district will be fully staffed on opening day.

The district wants to avoid last year’s issues when many of the drivers who had committed to returning to work after the summer break didn’t, according to Philp.

“We had 77 drivers in less than a week that told us we were not returning,” because they were staying with their summer employer, Philp said.

But Philp is feeling more confident this year, in part because the district offered drivers summer work for the first time ever and many of those drivers plan to stay on.

In addition, Philp said, ASD is offering wages that start at $25 dollars per hour as well as a $1,000 bonus for drivers who work consistently through the first semester of school. Reliant Transportation, the district’s busing partner, is offering similar wages and bonuses.

Philp said they’ll have a better idea of exactly where they stand with drivers on July 31, when drivers are required to report to work but plan to keep recruiting through the school year regardless.

Those interested in applying can do so on the school district website or call the transportation department at 907-742-1200 for more information.