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Missoula bus company ready for kids to head back to school

Beach Transportation School Bus
Posted at 9:58 AM, Aug 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-29 11:58:03-04

MISSOULA - Parents will have one less trip to worry about as students return to school.

Missoula-based Beach Transportation says they’ve never missed a school bus route and they won't start now.

The family-owned company was aiming to onboard 18 new bus drivers this year but says they were surprised they were able to exceed their goal of training and recruiting 25 bus drivers.

Schools across the nation and the state are experiencing a shortage of bus drivers -- so what’s Beach Transportation doing differently? The company says they did their research and found the largest contributing factor for their employees to make their decision was money.

“A lot of people have come through our front offices trying to help in the community. They just feel it’s their civic duty to be a school bus driver,” explained Beach Transportation General Manager Robert Mitchell. “And with that, when they do hear the increase in wages, it just seems to be that made them make a decision to become a school bus driver.”

Following free training provided by Beach Transportation — and a skills test — drivers are now able to work part-time at a rate of $21 an hour.

Beach Transportation provides school buses for Missoula County Public Schools, DeSmet, Target Range, Lolo and Woodman schools.