A New York State Representative is pushing to eliminate Commercial Drivers License (CDL) requirements for school bus drivers due to “workforce shortages.”
On September 9, New York Rep. Joe Morelle penned a letter to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg asking for the elimination of CDL requirements for school bus drivers and instead establishing a new school bus specific license.
Morelle says that Rochester and districts across Monroe County are struggling to find bus drivers and hopes that the move would make more people eligible to fill the need quickly.
“States, schools, and employers are being faced with new challenges related to the current labor market which are only making it harder for them to hire qualified applicants,” writes Congressman Morelle in the letter. “As students across the country begin going back to school, we need to make sure that it is easy to hire the necessary workforce to get students into the classroom. Therefore, I urge you to consider waiving the required CDL for school bus drivers to help address the driver shortages exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
He also argues that some CDL requirements that pertain to long haul truckers are “onerous and irrelevant to a school bus driver.” He specifically cites “repair-oriented, under-the-hood vehicle inspection requirements” as being unnecessary for school bus drivers.
You can view the full letter below.