Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer that would help remedy the ongoing shortage of qualified school bus drivers was endorsed today by the Senate Transportation Committee.
Legislation sponsored by Sen. Robert Singer that would help remedy the ongoing shortage of qualified school bus drivers was endorsed by the Senate Transportation Committee. (Flickr)
Singer’s measure, S-1682/S-2152, would allow drivers to transport students in Type S school buses that can accommodate up to nine passengers without requiring commercial driver’s licenses.
“Under this bill, short-handed school districts and transportation companies could free-up drivers with CDL-licenses to handle larger buses and more students,” said Singer (R-30). “Schools have an ongoing need to move small groups or lone students to lessons or events. It makes sense to allow safe drivers with good, clean driving records to take the wheel of smaller Type S-classified vehicles that do not require the special skills of CDL training.”
Since the pandemic, districts have been struggling with an ongoing shortage of school bus drivers. This bill is one of several legislative solutions proposed by Senator Singer.
“The shortage isn’t specific to New Jersey, it is a national problem. We have to take immediate steps to ensure efficient, safe student transportation,” Singer said, noting that a meeting with school administrators from Howell convinced him legislative action was needed.
In addition to the bill advanced today, Singer also sponsors S-2153, that would reduce the time it takes to earn a CDL with the additional “S” endorsement required to drive school buses. Under the measure, schools would be authorized to administer the CDL exam and other services.