We are finalizing transportation plans for October as we continue to work through the nationwide worker shortage and how it is affecting our bus driver and transportation staff.
We have been able to hire 25 drivers to add to our 150-member transportation staff to support our students. Driver training and certification, however, takes time.
In September, we are running 148 of our 160 needed bus routes. We’ll start October running 150 routes each day, which means 10 routes each day will not have an RPS 205 driver available. The second and third weeks of October, we plan to run 152 routes each day. By the end of the month, we hope that number of unavailable bus routes will drop to six or fewer each day.
View the October calendar for a guide on unavailable routes. A pdf version will be shared next week.
• Schools will continue to provide extended drop-off and pick-up time for families when regular busing won’t be provided.
• Affected bus routes will continue rotating among schools. Drivers will be assigned so no single school is more affected than others.
• All RPS 205 staff who are eligible to drive a bus are driving to cover any absences. That includes our executive director of transportation and transportation management team.
• Drive for RPS 205: A first-year driver can earn nearly $39,000. That includes a $3,000 signing bonus and up to $5,500 a year in attendance bonuses. Starting pay is $15.30 an hour with full-time benefits, including health insurance and life insurance. The job includes 12 paid holidays and paid training, with opportunities for evening routes, field trips and summer routes. Learn more and apply: rps205.com/bus-drivers
Thank you for your patience during this difficult time. We appreciate that families and community partners have worked together to lessen the impact on our students and families.
Mike Slife, RPS 205 Executive Director of Transportation
Mike Phillips, RPS 205 Chief Operations Officer
This press release was produced by Rockford Public Schools. The views expressed here are the author’s own.