Columbus Rehires School Bus Company For Substitute Drivers

Columbus City Schools rehires a school bus company to staff enough substitute drivers for the district.(Photo: WOSU file)
Columbus City Schools rehires a school bus company to staff enough substitute drivers for the district.(Photo: WOSU file)

Ohio’s largest school district is trying to solve a shortage of bus drivers by getting substitutes from the private busing company it fired last year.

The Columbus district had warned at the start of the school year that some elementary and high school students might be picked up late because of the shortage.

It now has most of the 700-plus drivers it requires but will get substitutes from First Group America as needed through next month while new hires are trained. The district agreed to pay up to nearly $135,000 for substitute drivers.

The district had decided to handle busing on its own because its multimillion-dollar transportation contract was slated to increase, but it wasn’t able to hire and train enough drivers before classes began.

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