ST. CLOUD -- Local bus companies are struggling to hire enough drivers in time for the start of the school year.

Four bus contractors serve the St. Cloud Area School District: Guardian School Bus Company, Spanier Bus Services, Trobec’s Bus Service, and Voigt’s Bus Companies. All say this year has been a challenge.

Bethany Schubert is the vice president of Trobec’s Bus Service. She says they are running out of time to get this year’s bus routes covered.

Our company is short about seven bus drivers right now, and if we don't have them by the beginning of the school year, we can't run our routes. If there's nobody to drive them that causes a problem.

Schubert says her company is looking to hire van drivers and bus assistants in addition to bus drivers. She says if the idea of driving a large bus seems overwhelming, you can test drive them at the company’s location.

Troy Voigt is the President of Voigt’s Bus Service. He thinks the problem has to do with the dual responsibility of driving and watching the kids and says his company is working to build a better support system and adding more training.

Support the drivers more so that when they are out doing their job they've got more tools they can use to take care of the situation - whatever comes up on the bus - whatever it is. Most of them are minor.

Pay range varies per company, but the average starting wage is $18 an hour for drivers. All four offer full-time and part-time positions with flexible hours as well as different hiring bonuses.

If you are interested in applying, contact information for all four companies is listed below:

Guardian School Bus Company: (320) 259-8225
Spanier Bus Services: (320) 251-3313
Trobec’s Bus Service: (320) 251-1202
Voigt’s Bus Companies: (320)-253-0510