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Hochul: New York State to address school bus driver shortage

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Posted at 10:24 AM, Sep 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-19 10:24:22-04

NEW YORK (WKBW) — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul says the state is addressing the school bus driver shortage throughout the state.

The governor says short term action will include the following

  • remove barriers and recruit traditional and non-traditional Commercial Driver's License holders
  • expand CDL testing opportunities
  • enhance processes all designed to get more drivers into school buses

Gov. Hochul says New York State is launching outreach to more than 550,000 Commercial Driver's License holders throughout the state.

"Our schools and public health officials have moved mountains to ensure our children receive an in-person education this year, and we are leaving no stone unturned to make sure schools have adequate bus service to bring students to school and back," Governor Hochul said. "While the shortage of school bus drivers is not unique to New York State, I have directed state agencies to utilize creative approaches and use every tool at their disposal to help districts affected by the bus driver shortage, so we can bring in as many qualified bus drivers as possible as quickly as possible."

The governor also announced that the Department of Motor Vehicles is enhancing and expediting the process for CDL completion by removing the 14-day waiting period between the permit test and the road tests.

Like all school staff, bus drivers play an essential role in keeping our schools running and serving families across New York. Any steps the state can take to expedite the process for obtaining a commercial driver’s license are welcome — as are steps on the local level to provide hardworking, deserving drivers with the fair pay and benefits that reflect the critical importance of their work safely transporting students. Gov. Hochul is taking important steps to address the driver shortage crisis in the short term, and we will continue to advocate with her and the Legislature for long term solutions that improve working conditions for drivers, including legislation to require districts to staff every bus with a monitor.
New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta