Nashville Facing School Bus Driver Shortage

Andy Spears
2 min readOct 22, 2021

A bus driver shortage in Nashville has reached a crisis, and bus drivers are speaking out. NewsChannel 5 has the story of a severe shortage and potentially unsafe conditions for students.

Battle said they are 200 or more drivers short, and many are doubling and tripling routes, forcing kids to sit three to a seat.

She also cited safety concerns with buses being overcrowding.

Drivers held a rally this morning to highlight the challenges currently being faced. The bottom line: Buses are at capacity at all times and there simply aren’t enough drivers.

Pam Battle, who heads up the union representing bus drivers, says the drivers want better pay and benefits.

The current situation, Battle notes, is untenable. To put it simply, the job is not attractive from a pay standpoint and the safety issues under current conditions make it even less attractive.

“So, it is time for this district to sit down with me and let’s figure out a plan here because we’re headed in the wrong direction, and if they don’t wake up and listen to us, I promise a parent, it’s coming. So, they better get ready. They cannot say that ‘no one has told them.’ The board cannot say ‘they have no knowledge of this.’ Dr. Battle cannot say ‘she has no knowledge of this.’

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Originally published at on October 22, 2021.



Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .