All Montgomery ISD bus routes are staffed with drivers after months of difficulty filling the positions, according to district officials.

In a nutshell

Since the start of the school year in August, six drivers left MISD and 13 were hired, according to an April 23 presentation by MISD Director of Transportation Aric Taylor. Meanwhile, four bus monitors were hired while five have left. Of the five monitors who have left, one of them transitioned to become a bus driver.

As of April 23, MISD had 85 bus drivers and monitors across the district’s 52 traditional bus routes and 12 special education bus routes, according to Taylor’s presentation.

“Montgomery is lucky to have a larger group of people who are retired or semi-retired,” Taylor said in a May 2 email. “We have worked to manage our operations to make working at MISD more attractive to that group.”

The context

In October, MISD had five open bus driver positions, and individuals including the district’s transportation director were driving buses to ensure all needed routes were covered, as previously reported by Community Impact.

In 2023, a national survey from transportation company HopSkipDrive, which operates in 13 states, including Texas, found 92% of school districts and transportation companies that responded reported a lack of drivers is affecting their operations. Two years prior, that number was 78%.

Going forward

Taylor said he anticipates hiring bus drivers will be an ongoing challenge for MISD.

“Each summer we will lose individuals who move on or retire,” Taylor said. “We also anticipate with the growth of new communities we will need to add routes. We are and will continue to recruit and hire bus drivers to meet the growing needs of the district.”