Bus Driver Shortage

Students crowd into buses, miss out on off-site learning opportunities, arrive late for school and events.


When it comes to high school, students spend a lot of time worrying about grades, athletics, and social status. Sometimes, however, we may overlook the little things.

We all get to school differently, whether it be by our parents, driving independently, or by bus. We usually have nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, this year, one of our methods of transportation is facing a big problem, and it wasn’t until recently that many of us realized just how much we reply on our district’s transportation.

This year, districts throughout the state are facing a shortage in bus drivers, and UCS isn’t exempt. Put simply, it appears that people just don’t want to drive school buses.

Many high school students who drive may not think much about it until it directly impacts them, but those of us with younger siblings have known about the issue from the first day of school. While most of their buses are packed, some of our brothers and sisters have waited unusually long for their buses to arrive, whether it’s going to or coming home from school. In extreme instances, students have had to wait for an entire bus load of elementary students to be dropped off first, so that same bus can circle back to the school before taking them home.

The shortage in bus drivers has not only caused problems with transporting kids to and from school, but has also caused problems with transporting athletes to games, class field trips, and has even caused a decrease in educational off-site learning opportunities. For many of us, that has been where the shortage hurts the most: knowing about trips we couldn’t take simply because there wasn’t a bus available. If these issues continue, we would like students to have the option to help split the cost of a charter bus, so they do not miss out on further educational experiences.

We believe the frustration in the bus shortage is not limited to students, and know it has caused much frustration for teachers and administrators. As a district, UCS typically does a good job of limiting these types of problems, and during our years of schooling, we don’t remember any instances of facing busing shortages.

We also believe the district has already taken steps in the right direction to add more drivers. Advertisements have been posted throughout our community, and UCS appears to be doing all it can to promoting the open bus driver positions. These ads are on big signs around Macomb and been published in many locations. However, in addition to advertising open positions, it may be time to look at paying bus drivers a more competitive rate to entice new employees–maybe even those who already drive for neighboring districts.

As in all things, we learn from out past. We hope the district will fix its transportation issues quickly, and make sure nothing like this happens again. We also hope this issue has created enough exposure for us to care about this topic, and continue to focus on the little things and not take anything for granted.