More school bus drivers are needed as the public and Catholic school boards serving Chatham-Kent and Sarnia-Lambton plan for the new school year in September.
Chatham-Kent Lambton Administrative School Services (CLASS) local school bus operator general manager Kent Orr said 10-20 new drivers are needed to help transport the approximately 19,000 local students who take a school bus. He added they also like to keep a number of spare drivers for illnesses and absences.
“We’re definitely looking to bolster up those spare ranks and also fill in some vacancies that are there now,” Orr said.
Traditionally, being a school bus driver has appealed to retirees looking to earn extra income, knowing they have summers off, along with other holidays, as well as no night or weekend work, Orr said.
He added stay-at-home parents also find it’s a great way to pick up work when their children start school full-time.
“The main thing is they’ve got to like kids,” Orr said.
He said bus drivers are critical part of a student’s day, because it is the first person they see in the morning and last person they see before getting home.
No previous training is required for people interested in the job.
Orr said the local school bus operators in the Chatham-Kent and Sarnia-Lambton areas will provide the training on how to operate a bus safely, managing kids on the bus and what the routes look like.
“They get them up to a level of comfort and professionalism and get them ready to go, and they’re there for ongoing support,” he said.
Prospective drivers need to be at least 21 years old; able to pass background checks and drug screens; have at least three years driving experience; and possess a valid driver’s licence.
Since it takes time to get the necessary clearances and licences, Orr said it is preferable if people inquire now rather than later.
“Don’t wait until August to call,” he said. “Call now, and start the conversation and get in the queue and the ask the questions.”
Those interested need to apply directly to the school bus operators, listed below.
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Chatham-Kent school bus operators
Badder Bus Lines – 519-692-3976 – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Blenheim Bus Lines – 519-676-5837 – Email: email@example.com
Claude G. Pearson Buses Ltd – 519-682-2500 – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
First Student – 519-352-1920 – Email: email@example.com
Sarnia-Lambton school bus operators
First Student – 519-336-0077 – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hull Bus Lines – 519-882-4875 – Email: email@example.com
Langs Bus Lines Limited – 1-800-265-7020 – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wight Coach Lines – 519-383-8457 – Email: email@example.com