KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
August 27, 2021
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy ISD is hiring transportation specialists as the greater Houston area experiences a bus driver shortage. Katy parents’ express concerns over unsafe conditions.
The first weeks of school are always a time for adjustment and Katy families are seeing this on the school buses. From late after school bus routes to overcrowding, some Katy parents express concern. The District is hiring bus drivers and offering good incentives to join the team.
Parents flood to social media to share tales of crowded buses that force students to share seats or sit on the floor. A Katy bus driver responded admitting that buses are crowded but says students are not told to sit on the ground.
“We count the kids as they get on,” says the bus driver. “We have extra buses at the schools to pick up the overload.”
The greater Houston area has reported a shortage of school bus drivers. Katy ISD is actively seeking more drivers and the pay starts at $17.51 an hour with health and other benefits plus $2 a day for child daycare.
All training and licensing is done through the District. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply.
Students Should Know Bus Stop, How to Get Home
An easy way that parents can help is to make sure that students know their address, what stop they get off at, and how to get home.
One driver reports they waited to watch and make sure a new rider found her way home. The student got her mother on Facetime and held up the phone while her mom gave directions.
“We are responsible for these children, so I sat there watching her till I knew she was going the right way,” says the driver.
Some Families Opt Out
As of this morning, Katy ISD reports 590 active Covid cases on their Covid Dashboard. Some families are opting out of bus service because of crowding concerns during a pandemic.
“Last year there were three to a seat and some on the floor,” says Katy mom Stacy Paz. “That’s too close for Covid. Imagine someone sneezing or coughing that space.”
Katy ISD continues to rapidly grow requiring the District to need bus drivers and buses to support the population.
The District is hiring several positions in their transportation department. Positions in addition to bus drivers include: Special Needs Bus Attendant, Day Care Worker, shop/Inventory Mechanic, and Inventory Technician.
To apply and learn more about these positions, visit the website.