Bus drivers face many challenges while driving everyday


Elementary students get off the bus at Smith’s Children’s Palace in town after school. Bus D picks and drops off these students.

   For many students, bus drivers are the first school employee they see each day, but their jobs do not come without challenges.

  Drivers have the responsibility of kids’ lives every day. Many students don’t give enough recognition to these men and women for their hard work and dedication to their job. Bus drivers not only have the everyday challenges from students, but have the task of making and enforcing rules, cleaning up the bus after a route, dealing with road and weather conditions, student noises, and early wake-up times. 

   “Bus drivers leave the bus barn anytime between 6 and 7 and are back at school before school starts,” said retired eighth-grade history teacher and long-time bus driver Steve Larson. 

   These bus drivers get paid for how many years they have been driving in the school district. For a first-year bus driver, the starting pay is $24 per hour, and, for a second year, pay increases to $24.45 per hour. 

   “The average route is somewhere between an hour and an hour and a half,” director of transportation Doug Alden said. 

   Some benefits that full-time bus drivers get for working at Warsaw are health and optional, dental, and vision insurance through the school. Drivers also must have a CDL and undergo training for the job.

   “Riding the bus is a privilege, it’s not a right,” long time bus driver Larson said.

  If a school district does not have enough money to provide transportation for students they don’t have to, however student transportation is a high priority.

   Many students at Warsaw have had a great appreciation for the long-time bus drivers who have been here for a while.    

   “Bus drivers are so because they transport kids from home and to school that don’t have a ride to get there,” sophomore Brylee Brewster said. 

    Many student athletes have great appreciation for the bus drivers who take them to their activities. These students spend hours each week with these drivers, being transported to games and events. They have come to know their drivers well.

   “My favorite bus driver is Mr. Larson because he’s a really easy person to talk to,” Brewster said.

   “Steve Peak is my favorite bus driver because he is so personable and easy to talk to,” senior Ellie Murrell said.