Back to School: Mid-Colombia Bus Company says they are ready for the new school year

Published: Aug. 17, 2023 at 11:37 AM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Mid-Columbia Bus Company, who serves many of South-Central Idaho school districts, have been hard at work ensuring they were ready for the start of the school year.

At the start of last school year there was a lack of about ten drivers, but this year they believe they are all set with about 72 drivers.

“We had three to four more people this year than we did the year before,” said Robert Gummere, Location Manager for Mid-Columbia Bus Company.

He added they worked hard all summer to recruit new drivers and increase pay rates.

“Yeah, this last year we upped our rates, so our starting rate now is $18.55 and if you have some longevity in the business, you can make as much as $22.50 an hour,” said Gummere.

School bus drivers must have a Class B CDL with a school bus endorsement, and Gummere said Mid-Columbia offers in-house training and they will pay drivers during their training.

Twin Falls School District Director of Operations Ryan Bowman said this year they are introducing new technology for parents to track their students on the bus through a mobile app or website.

“They’ll be able to see their students’ route, what time they’ll be picked up in the morning and what time they’re dropped off in the evening,” said Bowman. “And they’ll also be able to see, in real time, where the bus is.”

Bowman said parents will only be able track their own students, but if a family has multiple students the app will track them individually.

“Parents will be able to access, if they have a student in elementary, middle, and high school they’ll be able to see all three,” Bowman said.

Bowman said he hopes the new app will give parents peace of mind knowing where their students are, and he’s excited about the school year.