The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Critical Transportation issues need to be solved in one month


June 26, 2019

The Big Sandy Schools need new bus drivers. One bus driver, Don Robertson, has retired and they have no replacement. They have advertised for the position and no one has applied for the bus route going towards Box Elder. Bus drivers, even those driving small busses, must have a CDL, Commercial Driver’s License.

There is the category of a Class E bus, which many schools are now using because of the bus driver shortage. Schools purchase a motor vehicle like an Expedition. If you drive an Expedition it is considered a Class E bus and you do not need a CDL. If the bus route uses even a small yellow bus the driver must have a CDL.

Bus routes can be long, but children can only be on a bus route for one hour.

Besides the need for a driver to the Box Elder Route, Warrick Route needs to now go to the Warrick School. “We can go to the stage cabin and then we can pay them to meet us at the stage cabin with remote individual transportation funding per the transportation agreement. If we cannot find a bus driver than we also have the option of purchasing an Expedition like SUV and any staff could drive without a CDL.”

“We can’t find drivers. It is a nation-wide problem.” It is a major responsibility to care for children travelling on the buses for such a lengthy time.

Also sporting events may need to be driven to by parents, if they can’t find enough bus drivers.

The driver of the big bus also needs to get an Air-brake endorsement which requires taking three tests besides the CDL endorsement.

All these decisions need to be made within the month because the Chouteau County Commissioners must approve the bus routes before contracts can be approved by the Big Sandy School Board.


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