USD #310 has bus driver shortage!

Nationwide there is a crisis-level shortage of having enough CDL school bus drivers, and now this issue has now really hit home for Fairfield. At present, there is a possibility that we can’t continue to have door-to-door routes in the future without finding additional drivers. Right now Fairfield is short a total of three drivers to run our current routes for the 24-25 school year. Presently we have one substitute driver who is driving every day, and we have had to create a route where we can use our transit with 9 passengers. This has increased the length of our normal routes to do additional rural pickups. Our transportation director has also had to drive a daily route, which creates real issues when mechanical issues or breakdowns occur where his help is needed.  The way we would MOST like to solve this issue is by hiring more drivers. If you or anyone you know may be interested, please contact Fairfield Transportation Director Tyler Eash at

The Board of Education, the administration, and the transportation director want to be transparent in this matter. Some of the options being discussed are as follows:

  • No Door-to-Door: Students in rural areas would meet at established pickup locations that are not on dirt. They would not be picked up at their houses as they are now. Students in small towns would continue to be picked up and delivered at specific locations in each of our six towns. This would enable the district to combine routes and use less drivers. It would, however, be an inconvenience and expense to the district’s rural parents.

  • Longer Routes: We currently strive to make each bus route for students to not last more than one hour. If we increase the number of students for each route, our students will end up spending more time on the bus. This would require increasing driver pay for more drive time. 

  • Transits/Suburbans: We would need to purchase more small vehicles that could be driven by non-CDL drivers. School staff without CDL’s could drive these vehicles. Staff are being surveyed to see how many would be willing to help out by driving. We would have to purchase additional vehicles because the ones we have now are constantly checked out and being used for school activities. 

  • MINI Passenger Bus: These buses can also be driven by non-CDL drivers, but they are currently in high demand so the price is almost as high as a larger bus. It is also very hard to find these buses. These would carry more students than transits or suburbans.

  • Outsource: There is an option of looking into a company like First Student or Durham taking over our transportation if they will do so. This will be a major expense and once this decision is made, all vehicles will stay the property of the company. We would lose control of route times and ownership of our fleet. 

The Board of Education would appreciate your input on this matter. Please feel free to reach out to superintendent Betsy McKinney at or by calling her at the District Office 620-596-2152. You can also contact Tyler Eash at or by calling the Bus Barn at 620-596-2014. All input will be shared with the Board of Education at our March meeting. You are also welcome to attend the March 18th school board meeting at 6:30 pm in the modular. Each patron can have up to three minutes to share their ideas or opinions in the public comments section of the meeting. It is our goal for everyone to work together to not only understand the challenge, but to find ways to help meet it. Most importantly, if you are interested in becoming a school bus driver, let us know!