NPR for Northern Colorado
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Poudre School District grapples with a shortage of bus drivers

A sign advertising school bus driver jobs hangs at Dunn IB World School in Fort Collins.
Tess Novotny
A sign advertising school bus driver jobs hangs at Dunn IB World School in Fort Collins.

It’s no secret that a massive worker shortage is hurting multiple industries in Colorado and around the country. In this state, while about 80% of the over 300,000 jobs lost in the start of the pandemic have returned, everywhere from restaurants to farms to sports stadiums are seeing holes in staffing.

One industry that hasn’t been spared is transportation. And it’s not just city buses and trains running with fewer routes and operators, but school buses. The Poudre School District, which covers areas including Fort Collins, Laporte and Timnath, is operating with significantly fewer drivers than previous years. And everyone from drivers to students and parents are feeling the impact.

PSD director of transportation, Jake Bell, and district school bus driver, Jessica Bard, joined Colorado Edition to talk about the impact of the worker shortage and possible solutions.

As a radio producer, I help make the Colorado Edition program come to life. I help to schedule guests, produce interviews, edit audio, and write for our weekly newsletter.
As the host of KUNC’s new program and podcast In the NoCo, I work closely with our producers and reporters to bring context and diverse perspectives to the important issues of the day. Northern Colorado is such a diverse and growing region, brimming with history, culture, music, education, civic engagement, and amazing outdoor recreation. I love finding the stories and voices that reflect what makes NoCo such an extraordinary place to live.