The school years has just begun in Cedar Rapids and the district is already scrambling due to a shortage of school bus drivers. KWWL reports that the school district is down 15 to 20 bus drivers from a normal school year, and that has caused the district to make some quick changes.

Because of the driver shortage, the school district has condensed some of its bus routes, and took private school students off of the bus routes to make sure it follows the state rules on the amount of time that a student can be on a bus. KWWL reports that Iowa code says riding times for high school students can not exceed 75 minutes, and the limit for elementary students is 60 minutes. The school district can extend those limits by 15 minutes after holding a public hearing. Parents can also request a waiver of those time limits.

Currently, the Cedar Rapids School District has 31 schools with 113 buses to transport students to and from school every day. This year they only have 90 drivers to start the school year. School officials told KWWL that they are watching ride times carefully, to make sure they stay below the legal time frame. Despite the driver shortage, school officials say that everything went smoothly on the first day of school. Everyone arrived safely and on time.

The district is looking to hire bus drivers as well as van drivers and bus attendants. The district will train drivers to get their license and will even offer a $500 hiring bonus.

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