Kanawha County residents test drive school buses; aimed to fix driver shortage

Local News

KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – Have you ever thought about being a bus driver? Well, you may be in luck as Kanawha County Schools are currently hiring!

With the current school bus driver shortage in Kanawha County, schools are trying to get people interested in applying. One of the ways they’re doing this is by offering a firsthand experience.

On Thursday, two Kanawha County school buses were set up in a private lot from 4:30 to 7 p.m. giving anyone with a driver’s license an opportunity to buckle up and hit the road. Transportation, safety, and training supervisor Jimmy Lacey says a lot of people have the same thoughts when they step into the bus.

People will think that they can’t drive something and they’re intimidated by it, so this is their opportunity to drive it on a private lot where they can drive it to see that they really can do what they think they can’t.

Jimmy Lacey, Transportation, Safety, and Training supervisor

The buses operate much like a standard or automatic shift vehicle with fairly easy handling and only a few other rules to abide by. Those who came for the test drive event say the experience was not what they were expecting.

I thought it would be a little bit more difficult to handle, but it kind of goes with you, so it ain’t too bad. It was easier than I though it would be.

Dalton Fields, Kanawha County resident

Instructors were inside the vehicles giving drivers guidance and also talking about their experiences and what skills they would need to get into this field of work. One of the elements these drivers did not experience was having children in the seats.

The event was just for anyone interested in test driving. Those wanting to move forward will have to attend a class to receive their CDL license before hitting the road.

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