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STATE OF 208: Valley school bus companies steer through challenges

Posted at 5:56 PM, Jan 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-28 00:42:12-05

You've probably seem them, and even waved back at them as they waved at you from school parking lots across the valley: school bus drivers.

They're the men and women who have the responsibility of getting your kids to and from school safely. They are retired members of our community, single moms, grandparents, and everything in between.

Lili Hergert has been driving for the Brown Bus Company out of Nampa for more than a year. She says not only is it a great way to earn income while she attends school, but it's a job she really enjoys.

"I'm not just your school bus driver, I can be more than that," Hergert says.

What Hergert means is she gets to know students on a personal level, and they get to know her.

"Yeah, especially when it comes to bullying, I think as a bus driver you have to let me know, and be assured that I can help take care of it," She says.

The Brown Bus Company like others in the Treasure Valley are in some ways competing for drivers like Hergert.

Brent Carpenter is the operations manager and says, "one way we try is by providing a great environment to work in. We do recruiting bonuses, we try to stay competitive with our pay rate."

Carpenter, who has been with the company for over twenty years, says going into the 2018/19 school year, they had a need of forty drivers.

If you've ever thought of becoming a school bus driver, but you weren't quite sure, Hergert has this advice for you:

"They do training and you get paid to do training as well, so that's also a big plus, and you wouldn't believe how much easier it is to drive a school bus than an actual tiny car," Hergert says.