SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Some school districts struggle to hire enough bus drivers, so Saratoga Springs City School District hosted another Test Drive a Bus Day on Saturday. The event featured food vendors, and Saratoga Springs police taught attendees how to install car seats properly.
“This is just a wonderful opportunity that the transportation department provides for our community,” Michael Patton, Superintendent of Saratoga Springs City School District, said. “[And] for community members interested in learning more about test driving a school bus.”
The superintendent is also working on his permit to learn how to drive a school bus. Scott Prehn joined within the last year because his children are older now. He also says becoming a bus driver was a way to give back to families who depend on it like he did.
“I remember when my kids were little; it would turn my world upside down to scramble and figure out what I would do for the morning and ‘what am I doing for daycare,’” he said.
In fact, the district says around 5800 students depend on some form of transportation for school.
“So we’re constantly looking to recruit and to train,” Superintendent Patton said. “Training is paid for by the school district, and they have tremendous trainers that work with people to help them become comfortable behind the wheel.”
And school bus driver and trainer Gerry Freedman said that getting behind the wheel can seem nerve-wracking for some.
“The biggest issue is the size of the bus,” Freedman said. “Because 37 feet… it looks intimidating. But once you get into it and start driving, it handles quite nicely, much like your car or SUV.”
School officials hope the event will help with recruitment. They still need to fill ten more spots. Those interested in applying can learn more on the school’s website.