Breaking News
More () »

Bus driver shortage impacts Connecticut ahead of school year

The new school year is around the corner and bus companies are looking to fill driver shortages.

CONNECTICUT, USA — Back-to-school week means bus drivers are starting their engines back up after a few months off, but in Connecticut, school districts are short hundreds of drivers to accommodate every route.

Bus companies are saying that districts are consolidating more routes this year than before, meaning longer bus rides for your child.

M&J Bus Company Chief Operating Officer Jon Hipsher tells us the company is between 750-1,000 drivers short as they head into the fall semester. It's another year of consolidated routes and drivers picking up extra shifts to pick up the slack.

“There are a lot of routes to cover," said Hipsher. "We’ve consolidated to cover routes, but with the shortage, we still have a problem with consolidated routes; we need drivers for those as well."

While teachers are calling role, bus companies are calling for help. They are looking for retirees, parents seeking extra cash, or even those ready for a new career.

“We are all hiring,” Hipsher said. ”That’s not changed over the last few years.”

Current drivers are speaking for themselves when it comes to being a bus driver. Kevin Hogan, a retired news anchor, wanted something to pass the time.

Sign up for the FOX61 newsletters: Morning Forecast, Morning Headlines, Evening Headlines

“I’m waiting for my wife to retire; then we will travel,” Hogan said.

A mom of three, Stephanie Brunson, was looking for a specific job. She was able to find one where she could bring her kids to work every day.

“I love it. It’s hard to find a job where you can watch your own kids and spend time with your kids, and my kids get to spend time on the bus,” Brunson said.

Kevin and Stephanie are in various life stages but have a passion for bus driving in common.

Hipsher tells us that it can be anyone as well. He said the pay is competitive compared to similar jobs, and they offer on-the-job training.

“Folks need to sit on the bus with trainers,” Hipsher said. “It’s not a daunting task to drive it, no screaming kids, it’s not a scary thing, it’s a fun job to have. It’s a rewarding career – it is good for part-time and full-time.”

All Connecticut bus companies are hiring right now. Company leaders said anyone interested can call them or go to their websites to request an application to start the process.

Brooke Griffin is a reporter for FOX61 News. She can be reached at bgriffin@fox61.com. Follow her on FacebookX, and Instagram.

Have a story idea or something on your mind you want to share? We want to hear from you! Email us at newstips@fox61.com

MORE FOX61 TAG: Add to every story after the YouTube embed at the bottom.


Download the FOX61 News APP

iTunes: Click here to download

Google Play: Click here to download

Stream Live on ROKU: Add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching FOX61.

Steam Live on FIRE TV: Search ‘FOX61’ and click ‘Get’ to download.


Before You Leave, Check This Out