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DS Bus Lines continues to hire school bus drivers in Kansas City area

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Posted at 1:12 PM, Aug 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-12 07:58:04-04

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Bus companies across the Kansas City metropolitan area are hiring school bus drivers.

Dawn Wing, with DS Bus Lines serving the Olathe, Kansas, School District said there is no cap on the number of drivers they hire. They’re always looking to add more, reassuring there are enough drivers to get students to class on the first day of school.

“When I got behind the wheel the first time, hands were shaking and heart was racing,” Wing admitted. “But my trainer talked me through it and helped me understand it’s really not that difficult.”

Now Wing helps guide new drivers.

She explained applicants do not need experience, nor a commercial driver's license (CDL). DS Bus Lines will provide all necessary training and help applicants acquire their CDL.

Wing stressed the buses have automatic transmissions, so drivers are not required to manually shift gears, something she said is a big misconception.

The coronavirus pandemic affects school transportation much like it affects in-class learning. Because of social distancing guidelines, DS Bus Lines will have to run more buses on the same route on occasion in Olathe. The company is allowing two students per seat this year, instead of the three allowed under non-pandemic circumstances.

Starting pay with DS Bus Lines in Olathe is $18 an hour for someone with no experience. Drivers are guaranteed 20 hours per week. They work split shifts, running routes in the morning and afternoon with a break in the midday hours.

The part-time job includes healthcare and 401(k) benefits. Drivers with young children can have their child ride the bus with them, possibly eliminating the need to pay for childcare.

Wing said interacting with student riders is the greatest benefit.

“You can see their eyes light up when you say good morning to them. You never know how much of an impact you have on these students’ lives, but you really do,” she pointed out.

Anyone interested can apply with DS Bus Lines online or in-person. The company also operates buses for the Shawnee Mission, Piper and Belton school districts.

First Student bus company also told KSHB 41 News it is hiring drivers for this school year.