By Austin Carter

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s a race against the clock for school bus drivers in South Florida, just weeks before the start of the new school year.

“We’re a little over 150 drivers short for the opening of school term,” says Dr. Simone Clowers, a training supervisor with Broward County Public School’s Transportation and Fleet Services.

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The district is going to great lengths to try to recruit drivers in ways not done in about a decade.

“We’ve been out to the swap shop,” says Jolene Mason, human resources administrator.

“You might see us out a gas station, anywhere you might be,” adds Jason Solenske, bus driver.

There are about 700-900 school bus routes across Broward county.

“The timeliness of us being able to get the kids there right when the bell rings is one of our concerns,” says Dr. Clowers.

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The goal is safe and timely transportation, and the shortage of school drivers this year in Broward is likely due to the pandemic.

“We realized that a lot drivers are resigning, retiring maybe earlier than they wanted to because of COVID, it scared a lot of people,” says Mason.

The district understands the concern as bus drivers deal with the public every day, which is why they are ensuring safety.

“Different types of sprays, sanitizers, the buses get cleaned in-depth every night, after each school, we stop and sanitize the seats before we pick up the next set of students,” says Solenske.

It’s a similar story in Miami-Dade County where the school district is also recruiting drivers now.

If you’re interested in a position with Broward County, you can visit browardschools.com/applytodrive or call 754-321-4400.

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For Miami-Dade school bus driver positions, visit jobs.dadeschools.net