Osceola County considering public transportation, EMS workers to help with bus driver shortage

The ideas are flowing in Osceola County as the school district works to fill its vacant bus driving positions as soon as possible. 

The county held a transportation workshop in hopes of brainstorming new ideas to get people onto the force. 

One would include a partnership with Lynx public transportation. 

"That would be awesome because sometimes I have to get to work at seven in the morning and I have to drop them off at 6:30 outside," said Keret Brown. 

Brown's main concern is getting her son to school. She believes a partnership between Osceola County and Lynx could help.

"You know our first question was ‘do you have drivers that are working part-time for you that might want to work part-time for us?’" said Superintendent of Osceola Schools Debra Pace. "Unfortunately, they’re also experiencing the same challenge."

As an alternative, Lynx and the district are talking about possible discounts on bus passes for students at some of the high schools, but there are still issues to work through.

"I guess last time we talked they had about 70 vacancies," Pace said. 

Osceola County is looking for 49 drivers. 

Another option being considered includes recruiting local firefighters, police officers and EMTs to fill in on routes. 

"Anybody and everybody who has a CDL in our school district could be called upon to drive at some time," Pace said. 

Even if you don’t have a CDL, Osceola County will pay for your training. They are also exploring the possibility of bonuses for new hires and for those who choose to stay on the force.  

The county will be holding a recruitment fair next Friday at its transportation station off of Simpson Road for interested applicants.