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Rockwood Bus Drivers Fill In From California

When a shortage of bus drivers popped up among First Student bus transportation in the Midwest, see where some Rockwood School District local drivers went. That move led to more First Student bus drivers coming to Wildwood to make up the difference.

With job shortages and a depressed economy, who knew it would be challenging for student transportation companies to find qualified drivers? This dilemma even affected First Student, Inc., the transportation entity that supplies buses throughout —including back to school routes Tuesday.

A tip from a Eureka-Wildwood Patch reader alledged that out-of-state bus drivers arrived in town Monday, leaving "them no time to learn their (Rockwood) routes."

The reader also had heard some local Rockwood bus drivers had been sent elsewhere to make up for a shortage of bus drivers among the U.S. locations serviced by First Student.

Patch verified with a First Student representative on Tuesday they sent 13 of their drivers from the Rockwood area to Omaha, NE, where they were reportedly 100 drivers short. First Student spokesperson Timothy Stokes told Patch a change was prompted when 60 new bus routes were added to the Omaha plan.

To make up for the shortage of drivers in the Rockwood area, Stokes confirmed that 10 drivers from California were brought in to cover.

Despite rumors of not being prepared for new routes, Stokes said the drivers from California did make dry runs within their Rockwood area before driving them for the start of school. He also said First Student managers were pleased with the new drivers, and indicated they had not learned of any issues resulting from Rockwood routes on Tuesday.

A Patch reader indicated the belief was that the drivers from California are staying at in the city's town center.

Stokes said it was not the first time First Student had shuffled drivers to accommodate fluctuations, and that he did not know how long the bus drivers from California would be staying in Wildwood.

First Student purports to be North America’s leading school bus transportation services company, with a fleet of approximately 60,000 school buses transporting 6 million students to and from school every day.

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russell graves August 17, 2012 at 04:19 AM
it seems logical that the califonia driver should have been sent to omaha and rockwood keep there drivers .How come that never dawned on first students.
russell graves August 17, 2012 at 10:07 PM
i now belive that the principal just misspoke and ment monday.so we'll call that a half truth by mr stokes.
russell graves August 17, 2012 at 10:15 PM
I asked William Sloan what his take on mr stokes lies was. he said he did not know who mr stokes was.how come the director of transportation does not know the person who is representing the contactor he is suppost to be over seeing?
Mike K August 18, 2012 at 01:10 PM
To Russell: Today's followup article explains. Omaha has a law that says that their drivers must come from Nebraska or an adjacent state, such as Missouri.
Tom Maher August 18, 2012 at 08:18 PM
While later explained - why would "it seem logical that the california [sic] driver be sent to omaha [sic] and rockwood [sic] keep there [sic] drivers."? A little NIMBY perhaps? Are Rockwood students better than CA or NE students? I guess so...

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