Albemarle Schools continues to seek ways to address drive shortages

One of the main issues facing any transit agency is the shortage of drivers. That’s certainly the case for pupil transportation at Albemarle County Public Schools. Charmane White is the director of transportation and she said her team is preparing a strategic plan to address the issue. 

“Part of that recruitment and retention, as you know, is that we went up to $21.50 an hour,” White said. 

White said the system has also implemented a step scale for experienced drivers and one plan is to let people know of the potential. 

“Meaning we have drivers now making $32, $35, $38, $40 an hour because of their years of experience,” White said. 

Another component will be outsourcing of pupil transportation to private companies. White said employees have some trepidation.

“This doesn’t mean we’re eliminating jobs,” White said. “Absolutely not. What we’re trying to do is give some relief for our employees. Right now they’re doing a lot of double-back runs and I’m trying to figure out a way how I can help.”

One request for quotations that’s currently out there is for buses that can transportation grade 3 elementary students to a field trip to Amazement Square in Lynchburg this March. (view the RFQ)

White said the fleet now has two electric buses which are soon going to be put on the road. They have also added more 14-passenger buses which do not require a commercial’s driver license. 

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the February 14, 2023 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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