Columbia’s school board is expected to approve a one-year contract extension with Student Transportation Services (STA) for bus transportation service at Monday night’s meeting.
The board approved a three-year agreement with STA in December 2019, with two one-year renewal options. CPS Superintendent Dr. Brian Yearwood is recommending approval of the first one-year renewal option to account for salary increases to recruit and retain bus drivers. The agreement’s $965,000 cost will be covered by CPS’ transportation operating budget.
Meantime, Columbia Public Schools (CPS) and Student Transportation Services (STA) are about 20 drivers short now. CPS spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark tells 939 the Eagle that they currently need about 20 more bus drivers to cover routes, charters for athletics and have substitutes. She says Columbia’s unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the nation. Ms. Baumstark notes that’s a good thing but it can make it difficult to find people to fill openings.
STA has a large sign outside its Columbia Clark lane facility advertising positions. They have also placed flyers on some Columbia apartment complex bulletin boards, such as the Links, regarding drivers. The flyers note wages start at $18.50 per hour and that there’s a paid CDL training program. Applicants have to be at least 21, with no more than three driving violations in past three years.
Applicants can apply in-person at 3511 Clark lane or by calling (573) 214-3860.
The board meets tonight at 6:30 at the Aslin building.