GLEN BURNIE, Md. (WJZ) — A school bus driver shortage is affecting states across the country including Maryland.
In response, Gov. Larry Hogan has directed the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration to take steps to make sure school bus drivers are able to obtain proper testing and credentials as quickly as possible.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Maryland: Over 1,000 New Cases Reported, Key Metrics Decline
Saturday, the MVA hosted Bus Drivers’ Day, a day where applicants could take their Commercial Drivers’ License test in a streamlined process in hopes of getting them behind the wheel of a school bus as quickly as possible.
Cassidy McMenamin comes from a long line of bus drivers.
“My grandmother is a bus driver. My aunt is a bus driver. My sisters are bus attendants. My grandfather was a bus driver,” McMenamin said.
She took advantage of Bus Drivers’ Day to become a school bus driver herself.
“You work with kids, you get to see their smiling faces every day,” McMenamin said. “You make a difference in their lives. “
The MVA opened on a Saturday so potential drivers could take their driving test and obtain the necessary credentials.READ MORE: Brian Frosh Won't Seek Reelection As Maryland's Attorney General
“Governor Hogan wanted to do something here in Maryland to address it specifically,” said Chrissy Nizer, MVA administrator, “Obviously our school children are our most precious cargo. We want to make sure they don’t have challenges getting from school and that they are safe in doing so. So anything we can do at MVA to facilitate that process, we want to make it as easy as we possibly can.”
The test itself hasn’t changed. They just made it easier to schedule appointments.
“The standards are set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, but here in Maryland what we can do is make that as efficient as possible,” Nizer said.
Applicants are responsible for preparing for the test, which is exactly what McMenamin did as she takes one step closer to joining the family business.
“It’s one of the best jobs in the world you can have,” McMenamin said.
To become a school bus driver you can apply through the various county school websites. A commercial driver’s license is required, and some school systems are offering training.
Anyone who missed today’s event but is interested in becoming a bus driver, email email@example.com to schedule an appointment. Applicants are asked to include their phone number, driver’s license number, preferred time and location to assist with scheduling. They also should study the CDL Manual.MORE NEWS: FBI: Cash, Shredded Papers Seen At Toebbe's Annapolis Home In Spy Case