Facing a shortage of school bus drivers, Princeton school district officials moved to raise the hourly salary for bus drivers to $30 per hour, which went into effect Nov. 1.
The Princeton Public Schools Board of Education approved the $2.50-per-hour increase at its Oct. 18 meeting. The hourly pay for school bus drivers had been $27.50.
Also, all bus drivers will be eligible for “family” health benefits, provided they work at least 30 hours per week, school district officials said. Previously, bus drivers were eligible for “single” health benefits.
Most Princeton school bus drivers work a minimum of six hours per day, Monday through Friday, officials said. Some drivers work more hours. The school district has 28 school bus routes.
The Princeton Public Schools’ pay of $30 per hour for school bus drivers compares to $31 per hour paid by the Hopewell Valley Regional School District to its 37 bus drivers. The Lawrence Township Public Schools pays $28.32 per hour to its seven bus drivers, and also has contracts with transportation companies to provide the majority of its busing needs.
Princeton school district officials said they would like to hire at least four more drivers to supplement its staff of 25 drivers. There are three “open” school bus routes that are covered by substitute bus drivers and two office staff members who are eligible to drive the bus.