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    Massachusetts Experiences Shortage of School Bus Drivers

    Credit: Unsplash

    School districts across the United States are facing a critical shortage of school bus drivers. During the peak of the pandemic, when schools shut down, many drivers were laid off, while some chose to retire. Now, as students return to in-person classes, there is a significant decrease in the number of available drivers. Additionally, many existing drivers have concerns regarding the delta variant, mask mandates, and vaccination requirements.

    Massachusetts is currently experiencing a severe shortage of bus drivers. In response, Governor Charlie Baker has authorized the deployment of the National Guard to address this issue. Governor Baker announced that up to 250 National Guard members will be utilized to drive 7D vans, also known as “school pupil transport vehicles.” A group of 90 National Guard members has already undergone training in Chelsea, Lawrence, Lowell, and Lynn.

    “Once it became clear that some communities were facing a shortage of qualified drivers, we reached out to the National Guard,” Governor Baker stated.

    “A number of communities have expressed interest in this initiative, and we are pleased to provide assistance because it is crucial,” Governor Baker added.

    Other states and cities facing similar shortages of bus drivers have adopted various strategies to attract new drivers to the profession. For example, Montana is offering a $4,000 bonus to new drivers who join the workforce.

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