ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — Many counties are in need of bus drivers, but the St. Johns County School District is especially in short supply.
On Friday, the district asked First Coast News' Jessica Clark to climb into the driver's seat to demonstrate that anyone can learn to drive a bus!
"It’s a big fear for a lot of people," Rob Curtis said about driving a long vehicle such as a bus. He recruits bus drivers for the St. Johns County School District.
Ahleen Campillo trained Jessica at a training range in St. Augustine.
St. Johns County is fast growing. It's growing at about a rate of a school a year. So that means more bus drivers are needed, of course. Add a labor shortage on top of that, and drivers are in big demand.
You need a commercial driver's license to drive a school bus. But if you don’t have one, the county will pay for you to get one, and train you too.
Jessica felt like the bus drives like a car, except she had to use the parking brake a lot. The biggest challenge for her was learning how to turn the corners in such a long vehicle.
Campillo said most people feel that way when they start driving a bus.
If you want to be a school bus driver, but you’re not sure if you can drive a bus, the St. Johns County School District is holding an event called Come Drive the Bus With Us. It's on Oct. 23rd from 8 a.m. to noon.
You can test your skills in a school bus simulator and even drive a bus on the training track with a certified trainer. It will be at the Public Safety Campus on Gaines road in St. Augustine.