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Road Map with Caley Edgerly: Thanking Drivers Everywhere

Across Canada and the United States, districts and contractors constantly are challenged to find and retain drivers. In fact, driver shortages is one of the biggest challenges our industry faces today.

So, during the “Love the Bus” month of February, we decided to play a small part in recognizing great drivers who are legends in our industry, in hope of uplifting this important and critical occupation. Throughout the entire month, department heads from all areas of Thomas Built Buses reached out to bus drivers in North America to hear their stories and offer our thanks for the critical role that they play.

I personally exchanged stories and shared my gratitude with more than ten drivers.  Their stories inspired me and I could never thank them enough for all they do.  Here are just a few of their stories.

  • Linda from Florida has an extraordinary eye for safety in her neighborhood and a great relationship with her riders.
  • Rod from Idaho explained how much he truly loves getting up to drive kids to school every day.
  • Jeri in Washington State not only is a role model for her students, but also is very popular with the dogs at stops throughout her route.
  • Kay from Massachusetts has been in the industry for 30 years, 23 of them driving high schoolers.  We traded stories on how her children’s behaviors have actually improved generation over generation as she finds different methods to earn and demand respect from everyone on the bus.
  • Kathi told the important story of how she is not only a school bus driver, but often the first role model outside the home to help mold a child in its learning years.

The lessons we learned from reaching out to bus drivers were simple reminders of the obvious.  These are special individuals who do special things. They shape our children’s lives and shape our future.  We need more of them for sure, and we vow not to wait again for a celebratory month to pay homage to this caring group of professionals.

Thank you, bus drivers, for the important yet sometimes unrecognized role you play every day. Your dedication and hard work matters – to your children, their parents and especially to us.

Caley Edgerly

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