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NY Launches Plan To Address School Bus Driver Shortage

New York has a plan for the school bus shortage
New York has a plan for the school bus shortage Photo Credit: Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash

New York has a plan to address the growing shortage of school bus and truck drivers that has plagued the state of late.

Under the plan presented by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, the state would expand the availability of road tests for Commercial Driver License (CDL) applicants while permitting qualified third parties to offer the road tests, which would reduce the time it takes to get CDL drivers on the road.

Much of the shortage concerns have been attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we continue to fight this pandemic, we remain committed to expanding opportunities for New Yorkers, supporting our schools, and doing all we can to address the supply-chain issues that have affected many businesses throughout our state and country," Hochul said.

"By enabling third parties to give the road test for truck and bus drivers, we will create new avenues for New Yorkers to begin exciting careers, for our children to get to school, and to ensure that vital goods get where they need to be.”

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles is scheduled to hold a public hearing virtually on Wednesday, Jan. 26 to hear comments and review the plan. Written comments can be submitted to from Tuesday, Jan. 18 through Friday, Feb. 4.

During the public hearing, the DMV will provide an overview of the proposal that calls for a phased rollout of the initiative that would initially allow other state agencies and authorities that have large fleets of commercial vehicles to begin conducting CDL road tests, officials said.

The second phase would include qualified private entities. The DMV plans to "establish a rigorous monitoring system to ensure that qualified CDL trainers safely administer the road tests in compliance with state and federal regulations."

From there, the DMV will use the feedback to evaluate and develop the best way to implement the plan.

“We at DMV know how important it is to have qualified truck and bus drivers on the road, and we are committed to doing what we can to address the need,” DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder said.

“We look forward to gathering public input at this hearing and then acting to enable qualified third parties to offer CDL road tests to give New Yorkers greater opportunity to take the test and to get good jobs driving these essential vehicles."

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