Some Athletic Directors are dealing with bus driver shortage.

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 10:30 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -There is a shortage of bus drivers throughout the State. Not only are Building Administrators and Superintendents dealing with the problem, but so are Atletic Administrators. Here in the County some Aroostook League Athletic Directors have had to juggle game times and dates to give their drivers a chance to return from their afterschool bus run to takes teams to athletic events.

(Cliff Urquhart):”They make their regular run with kids from the school building and then they make it back. They don’t get back until 3, 3:15, or 3:30 and because of that we put off sports and athletic trips until that time.”

(Heather Bradbury):” We have to wait until some of our regular day bus runs are done before our teams can leave. It’s just a matter of calling the other AD and telling them we are going to be a few minutes late. Do you mind holding up and nobody every minds waiting.”

Athletic Directors at Tuesday’s Aroostook League meeting were sharing notes Urquhart and Ron Ericson of Washburn were looking at their calendars yesterday as they tried to reschedule a game because of transportation issues.

(Ron Ericson):” We have three bus runs and three drivers. They have to come back, and we can’t leave for our trips until they get back. With our schedule right now the only game on our schedule that we can play an away game Monday through Friday is Ashland. Otherwise, we don’t get there in time.”

Heather Bradbury of CAHS is in the same boat. In the past they’ve had activity driver who would come in on short notice.

Bradbury:” He was one I could call and say hey, can you leave in ten minutes, and he would be I will be right there.”

The County isn’t the only area being affected by the shortage. Dave Utterback the Athletic Administrator at Brewer High School and some of his coaches are trying to help alleviate the issue.

(Dave Utterback):” We have reached out to all of our coaching staff in middle school and high school and asked if they might be interested in learning how to drive. We don’t have a problem finding a bus we have a problem with getting a driver.”

Ericson has had to schedule several games on weekends so they would have a driver. He has had to make many changes to his schedules because of transportation issues and opposing teams dealing with COVID.

Ericson:” The Administration is working hard. The players are being patient, the coaches are being patient. The bus drivers are just working unbelievable hours and we are doing the best we can.”

Urquhart:” We are really thankful for the ones that we have. They are coming and doing a great job. We are always recruiting and hope we can get more.”

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