back to article US school districts blame Amazon for nationwide bus driver shortage

Education administrators in a number of US states are struggling to get children to school as they claim their bus drivers are being poached by online shopping monolith Amazon. Districts including Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey have all stated that the gargantuan e-tailer's seemingly endless hunger for delivery drivers …

  1. Geez Money

    Uhh...

    You're somehow providing a working environment and pay even worse than Amazon and you're blaming everyone but yourself for not being able to get employees? I know we're supposed to be auto-sympathetic because "think of the children" but I'm really not seeing it.

    1. Swarthy Silver badge

      Re: Uhh...

      When Amazon is a significant career improvement over what you are offering, mayhap you should improve what you offer?

      I don't know what the school systems could offer... Maybe heat and A/C in the busses? Paid vacation days?

      What will not help is dragooning the existent drivers to cover additional routes for no extra compensation. I know the sprogs' bus driver was working an additional 2 jobs to make ends meet, and getting saddled with an extra route every day did not help her get to the next job on time. (It also hasn't helped the kids get home on time. A 7AM-5PM school day is ridiculous)

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Uhh...

        One of the problems schools have is they only need drivers 10-15 hours a week. Amazon needs them at least 40.

        Even if the school districts offer better pay and better benefits, the drivers will make much more with Amazon due to the difference in available hours.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Uhh...

          That's why school bus driver, especially out here away from the big city, is a retirement job.

          Need to have a commercial licence and clean background check but only get to work 730:830 and 300:400 and 5 days/week * 30 weeks/year = not exactly a career path.

          1. eldakka Silver badge

            Re: Uhh...

            That's why school bus driver, especially out here away from the big city, is a retirement job.
            In my region, the 'school' buses are just extra, dedicated routes the cities standard mass-transit bus provider puts on in the morning/afternoon periods. No 'special' buses or bus drivers, just extra routes with restricted (the school kids) patronage provided by the same company, drivers and buses as would do any other transit route. It's just the route that bus driver is assigned to at that point in their normal daily shift.

            1. big_D Silver badge

              Re: Uhh...

              It is the same here, in Germany. The local bus company puts on dedicated, normal buses, with regular drivers on extra routes for school runs.

              1. rafff
                Unhappy

                Re: Uhh...

                But the US does not have "normal bus services" that one can re-schedule. Public transport is socialist.

                1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

                  Re: Uhh...

                  The minority party here has started using "European" as yet another synonym for socialist.

                  1. big_D Silver badge

                    Re: Uhh...

                    Which is funny, considering how many of the governments swung to right wing parties last time around, in Europe. Germany is one of the few that has gone against the trend, with the SPD winning a slim majority and the most likely candidates for coalition partners are a little left of centre.

            2. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: Uhh...

              "In my region, the 'school' buses are just extra, dedicated routes the cities standard mass-transit bus provider puts on in the morning/afternoon periods. No 'special' buses or bus drivers"

              Mostly in the US, the drivers have to have a special license, the busses must be utter crap and the insurance is much different.

              I remember the school district chased our choir group around (never caught) due to the teacher chartering a nice bus rather than a nasty "school" bus for a longish trip. Union rules? We enjoyed cushy seats instead of wood planks, curtains on the windows, a loo and AC.

              Anything to do with k-12 school kids these days requires a forensic background check that's extremely annoying. I was looking to do school photos with a couple of other photographers and it was just too much. We wouldn't have been left alone and in charge of the kids. They'd just be marched in for their annual school photos and we'd be photographing some sports/events throughout the year. I didn't want to submit all of my personal information to some third party private organization for a clearance to be in the same room as bevy of misbehaving sprog. The money can be good, but not good enough.

        2. Nunyabiznes

          Re: Uhh...

          A lot of drivers are looking for part time work as a filler or retirement gig. Amazon offers that too, but at a better rate (generally) and you don't have to listen to some snot-nosed brat's helicopter parents complaining that you asked their crotch-fruit to sit the heck down.

          Amusing sidebar: My bus drivers (4 primary drivers over 12 years of riding school bus minimum of 45 minutes each way*) would simply lock up the brakes if you were running around instead of sitting. All but the most stubborn or stupid kids learned to get in, sit down and shut up. Parents knew better than to complain because the alternative was to drive your brat to school yourself while they were suspended from the bus.

          *I seldom had homework because I did it on the bus. Didn't help my penmanship, but gave me much more time to wander off into the woods after getting home.

      2. VicMortimer

        Re: Uhh...

        The buses do generally have heat - all year round, because school buses with AC are incredibly rare in the US. My junior high didn't have AC, and we had quite a few days canceled because 100 degree classrooms are just plain dangerous. That school was air conditioned decades ago, but the buses still aren't.

        It's almost October, which for most of the US means it's finally not dangerous to put kids on a school bus because of the heat - it's just the COVID now.

        When I had a kid in school I bought him city bus tickets, partially because those are air conditioned.

        I know the Brits sometimes don't completely understand why Americans need aircon, but to put it in your terms, 35 degree days with 90% humidity are not uncommon here in mid September, and in places like Phoenix 45 degrees in September (with 40% humidity) is not uncommon.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Uhh...

          >35 degree days with 90% humidity

          Which is G*Ds way of telling you that humans shouldn't live there !

          1. DS999 Silver badge

            Re: Uhh...

            There are no places anywhere in the US that have EVER reached 35C and 90% humidity. That would be a heat index of 64C or 147F. I think conditions like that have happened in the Middle East a few times, but nothing remotely like that has ever happened anywhere in the US.

            People in the south love to talk about fictional "90/90 days" which they claim are days with 90F and 90% humidity. Over the course of a day they may have a high of 90F or higher and a relative humidity of 90% or higher, but not at the same time. That 90% humidity happens in the early morning, and goes down as the temperature increases during the day. For both to happen at the same time they'd need a dewpoint of at least 87F.

            1. TomG

              Re: Uhh...

              I think he/she meant 35F.

              1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

                Re: Uhh...

                Think again. No way Phoenix reaches 45F in September.

            2. EveryTime

              Re: Uhh...

              In July 1987 I had just graduated and moved from Boston to my first full time job working for Harris Corporation in Melbourne FL. On July 12 it reached 95F with a dewpoint of 91F, a notable local record.

              Since I was a new grad with college loans and little else, I was driving my college car, an old Beetle with no A/C and jammed-open heater boxes. The guys I worked with were oddly eager to volunteer to drive when we went out for lunch.

            3. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: Uhh...

              "There are no places anywhere in the US that have EVER reached 35C and 90% humidity. That would be a heat index of 64C or 147F."

              Welcome to Nashville or DC in the summer.

            4. Not Yb

              Re: Uhh...

              Counter example: https://www.weather.gov/jetstream/hi

              Appleton Wisconsin 1995 heat index 149F.

    2. Imhotep Silver badge

      Re: Uhh...

      In urban/suburban areas it is feasible to build smaller schools within walking distance of their students. Walking is how I got to school up through college.

      This was also the case for my daughters.

      Perhaps this might be a long term goal for those districts where it is possible. There are other advantages too, including parental engagement.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Uhh...

        "In urban/suburban areas it is feasible to build smaller schools within walking distance of their students. Walking is how I got to school up through college."

        Not when each school has to have the same number of administrators, a nurse, etc. Sure, the building(s) is smaller, there aren't as many teachers, but custodians come in units of one. If there isn't enough work to keep a custodian busy 8 hours, it's still 8 hours of pay unless they can cover 2 schools each day.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Uhh...

      I know we're supposed to be auto-sympathetic because "think of the children" but I'm really not seeing it.

      See icon (heh)

      Seriously why can't kids just WALK to school or ride bikes? Kids who are unwilling to commute THAT way can take mom-Taxi or public transit... right? [for young-uns the school is usually pretty close to where they live UNLESS some school district decides to shift students around for political reasons].

      In cases of 'school choice' commutes to non-neighborhood schools by the kids, I suppose THE PARENTS may actually need to provide something... and it may end up being FASTER than the 'short bus'.

      So in short, I just want to bring the "why do we need buses for the kids, exactly?" monkey wrench into the room. [for those who really DO need the buses, sure, have a bus, but I suspect that many of these routes may not be TRULY necessary]

      And I just thought I'd go ahead and make the "When I was your age" rant while I'm at it. Even when I was in KINDERGARTEN, I actually DID walk to/from school, although it was only a few city blocks. And for 1st through part of 4th grade, there was a very steep hill involved.

      when I *DID* have to ride a bus it was LITERALLY because of "busing", i.e. the closer school was NOT for me for some reason (overcrowding usually). So the problem was NOT the need for a BUS, but the locations of the schools, i.e. the fault of the school districts and city planners and local politicians.

      so we can put the blame where it BELONGS: *GUMMINT*

      1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

        Re: Uhh...

        "why do we need buses for the kids, exactly"

        Safety, primarily. First, you don't want too many kids depending on the mom-taxi. The resulting traffic jam at the school entrance would be untenable. And kids these days just aren't taught to deal with vehicular traffic one would encounter on longer walks. Never mind primary school children, we had a high school kid killed when he tried to do a dash across a major thouroghfare instead of using a signaled crosswalk.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Uhh...

          >The resulting traffic jam at the school entrance would be untenable.

          I assure you, the massed double parked Range Rovers and Cayenes blocking every street in my small town and the km long tailback onto the highway are very tenabled around the private school here.

          Honest to Cthullu, statement overheard from one mother being forced to pickup her own sprog - "The nanny crashed the Maserati, again"

      2. Swarthy Silver badge

        Re: Uhh...

        Oooh, look who's fancy with sidewalks and cycle paths.

        My kids' designated school is about 8 miles away off of a shoulder-less two-lane (one each way) road with a 55MPH speed limit. I'll let you walk that and then ask "why do we need busses?" - provided you can still talk after.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Uhh...

          "My kids' designated school is about 8 miles away off of a shoulder-less two-lane (one each way) road with a 55MPH speed limit."

          Odd that many houses sold/rented to people with kids are purchased/leased due to them being in close proximately of a good school.

          Just sayin'

      3. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Uhh...

        "Seriously why can't kids just WALK to school or ride bikes? "

        I walked or rode my bike when I had one until it got stolen and lived through it except for a couple of years when the school was too far away. A bit over a mile for a 3rd grader along a busy road is a bit much. I walked in 1st and 2nd grade but it was a residential neighborhood route around the block and the parents all stood on their front porch with their coffee and watched out for all of us as we trekked the 1/4 mile to school (yes, I just looked it up).

        To bus or not to bus is down to the age of the kids, the distance and the neighborhood. Weather can be a big factor too. I'm not a big fan of all of the helicopter parents that must make sure their little darlings don't walk more than a couple of hundred yards in a day and anything further must be traversed within a giant V8 powered SUV.

    4. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: Uhh...

      Amazon fires you using AI and an App, sure the pay may be better, but the work itself is worse.

  2. jbburks

    What gall blaming Amazon.

    You stopped paying them due to Covid19 and are blaming the people who gave them jobs and a salary.

    If you want to get them back, pay more or provide better working conditions. It shouldn't be hard to do that against Amazon. That's the way capitalism works, you know. Competition and all that.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Capitalism would be to raise venture funding for a startup offering a network of autonomous AI powered scooters - then get sold for $Bn before actually delivering anything

      1. O RLY

        That's the silly con valley vulture capitalism.

    2. TomG

      Public schools are government run, not private enterprise. Capitalism is not applicable to government.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Except to avoid the schools falling into innevitable Stalinism, the bus service is contracted out to "First".

        Presumably because Crapita haven't worked out how to offshore it and G4S were too expensive

    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "What gall blaming Amazon."

      I don't see the article blaming Amazon at all. It's just one of the places many of these drivers went to find work after being laid off. If the schools can't get the drivers back, that's the fault of the schools.

  3. myxiplx2

    All Amazon, wasn't our fault

    Love how they're blaming Amazon. Nothing to do with you leaving them out of work for huge portions of time.

    Yes, there was a pandemic on, but that's not Amazon's fault, and they really should have kept a better eye on the situation with the drivers. If you don't look after your staff, you're going to lose them.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: All Amazon, wasn't our fault

      The problem can be fixed by raising the school bus drivers pay to 12% above Amazon's - this is the traditional way to handle a labor shortage - when you need workers you have to pay enough to make them show up.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: All Amazon, wasn't our fault

        and realistically, you re-design the services to be lower cost and more efficient, so that you CAN afford to hire the drivers with an acceptable pay increase, etc..

        But we're talking GUMMINT BUREAUCRACY here. Rarely do THEY ever have an incentive to compete with the private sector for employees, or even be MORE EFFICIENT. Instead, they demand MORE MONEY. See icon.

        1. Horst U Rodeinon

          Re: All Amazon, wasn't our fault

          instead they demand extort MORE MONEY. (FTFY)

          Have you ever seen your property taxes go down? Yeah, me neither.

          And as one guy put, if you think you own your home and property, see what happens when you don't pay the taxes.

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: All Amazon, wasn't our fault

            "And as one guy put, if you think you own your home and property, see what happens when you don't pay the taxes."

            In normal times see what happens if you fail to pay your rent. Same thing happens, only faster.

  4. usbac

    I have an idea. Why not combine the services. They are going to drive down the same streets anyway.

    "Here little Johnny, take this package and put on that porch over there..."

    Amazon could actually pay the school district. Maybe a little stipend to the kiddies? Get them used to a low paying abusive Amazon job early on.

    1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      similar

      Or combine but in the other direction. How much would Amazon charge to ship a child to school? Must be cheaper than Uber, especially if they can make the cardboard boxes reusable.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: similar

        Seems inefficient compared to series of pneumatic tubes

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: similar

          Obviously you couldn't have a tube to each house, but a network of tubes branching off into the suburbs could allow you to drop off your offspring at the nearest neighbourhood funnel and have them flushed safely to school.

          Might be a problem for the obese child, but any kid called "Augustus Gloop" is probably going to become a school shooter anyway.

        2. TomG

          Re: similar

          Biden could put that in his infrastructure bill.

      2. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: similar

        Oh no. I've seen the amount of extra space they use when delivering SD cards, which do not have to go in separate boxes in case the packing machine is reading. To contain an entire child, they're likely to have boxes the size of houses.

      3. the Jim bloke Silver badge

        Re: similar

        I know that we are supposed to be reducing our plastic use - but surely there is a valid case here for shrink-wrap

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: similar

          Bubble wrap at least

          1. eldakka Silver badge

            Re: similar

            Freezing in Carbonite?

    2. Imhotep Silver badge

      I like the idea, and perhaps we should expand it.

      For example, do we really need ICBMs to deliver a nuclear warhead, or is FedEx guaranteed overnight delivery good enough?

      Perhaps UPS leaving a package on the front porch of the ISS?

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Trollface

        Perhaps UPS leaving a package on the front porch of the ISS?

        How do you handle re-delivery when they deliver it to the wrong space station?

        (it's hard enough dealing with that on Earth)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    neon-lit party bus complete with stripper poles had been hired

    Ap-palling, no strippers!? This could have been the best school trip ever. I'm SO disappointed! :(

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: neon-lit party bus complete with stripper poles had been hired

      Matt Gaetz has entered the chat

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bus drivers...

    Asking for more money or better conditions? That sounds like communism to me...

    They should be down-trodden, paid a pittance and expect to be blamed for how bad the kids are.

    That's the American way™

    1. Nunyabiznes

      Re: Bus drivers...

      FFS.

      Having the opportunity to leave for a better job every time it comes around is part and parcel of a free society - and is exactly what is happening in this case.

      <snip long rant>.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Bus drivers...

        The British solution (to all problems) apparently is to get the army to do it.

        Does the USA have a large military, suddenly unexpectedly free from previous engagements ?

        Could they be retrained and re-equipped to deal with the much more dangerous environment of a US highschool?

        1. Nunyabiznes

          Re: Bus drivers...

          I'm sure hardened combat veterans would rather deal with the Taliban than teenage girls. Shudder.

          1. Diogenes8080

            Re: Bus drivers...

            I have it on good authority that the traditional solution is to keep a rabbit and a revolver in the glove box and to scream at the children as soon as they do anything out of line. Untidy hair completes the intimidating image.

          2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Bus drivers...

            >I'm sure hardened combat veterans would rather deal with the Taliban than teenage girls. Shudder.

            I was suggesting hiring the Taliban - having defeated the USSR and US armies they should be upto the challenge, and they just got a free batch of Humvees and MRAPS

            1. Geez Money

              Re: Bus drivers...

              Helicopter parents are actually one group that I'd be fine with putting under Taliban rule

        2. Trygve Henriksen

          Re: Bus drivers...

          Are you mad?

          Do you know how much soldiers get in combat pay?

          It'd blow the budget within the first week!

          (No, it's not all that much, but it can't be less than the pittance the school bus drivers gets.)

        3. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Bus drivers...

          "Does the USA have a large military, suddenly unexpectedly free from previous engagements ?"

          They keep talking about calling in the National Guard which is a state volunteer org. These are people that work other jobs already and show up for a weekend each month and a couple of weeks each year for training. What happens to the jobs they were already doing? NYC wants to replace nurses that don't want to get the jab with National Guard nurses/medics. Those people are likely working somewhere in nursing, EMT, etc. Now there are holes someplace else. All that will get accomplished is more people leaving the Guard so they don't have to put up with political BS. They are more than happy to be there for an emergency, but only real ones.

    2. Version 1.0 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Bus drivers... (FTFY)

      They should be down-trodden, paid a pittance and expect to be blamed for how little petrol you can get these days.

      That's the We Got Brexit Done way™

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bus drivers... (FTFY)

        and don't mention the war. I mean, IR35, because this is, apparently, a little-publicised _real_ reason for the current driver issue in the sunny fairyland of Great, Great Britain. I read a couple of comments (on foreign forums, unsurprisingly) that, about a year ago, 'overnight', those drivers lost '30% of wages' do to well-recognized IR35 here. Combined with brexit, never mind covid, they probably decided they'd rather be paid 30% more and 0% hassle by doing what they're doing - based on the continent. It's not like they stay much home in the sunny Britain anyway, so. Can't blame them, really.

        but hey, here's a great solution. Short term: 150 (yes, correct!) army drivers. Mid-term: 3-months visas for them East European truckers (huge lines of those forming in Dunkirk, I hear). Long term: training of thousands of British youths for the lifelong career in trucking (that is, until one moment, they wake up to the robo-hgv taking their job, silly kids). Funny how they don't appear that eager on this short-term career path.

        1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

          Re: Bus drivers... (FTFY)

          Not sure why you got downvoted. UK gov response to shortage of truckers is pitiful. As usual, they were warned months ago this would become a problem, and just watched gormlessly as it happened. Now they're making token gestures that won't solve a damn thing, just to be seen to be doing something.

          Getting drivers from the EU won't happen; the EU has an even worse trucker shortage than we do. Why go through all the hassle and uncertainty for three months of crap wage here in the UK, when EU countries are crying out for those same drivers.

          Army should have been prep'd for domestic haulage as soon as the lastest fuel non-shortage "crisis" occured. Indeed, way before this, given the lack of drivers has been causing problems for a long time now.

      2. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Bus drivers... (FTFY)

        It's a shame that America left the EU too, eh?

      3. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        Re: blamed for how little petrol you can get these days

        I know this was a joke, but if you mean all the idiots queuing for fuel when they don't need it, just because some other idiots are also doing it, well, they really are the cause of how little petrol there's been in the fuel stations this week. 100% correct to blame them for it.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: blamed for how little petrol you can get these days

          If the current British government told you that there was no need to panic and there would be no shortage of something - what would be the logical thing to do ?

          1. Man inna barrel Bronze badge

            Re: blamed for how little petrol you can get these days

            Given Boris Johnson's dodgy record on honesty and reliability, I would reason he is up to something, and fill up to cover me over the crisis that he has not told us about.

            1. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: blamed for how little petrol you can get these days

              "Given Boris Johnson's dodgy record on honesty and reliability"

              Boris doesn't hold the patent on "dodgy". Replace his name with "politician's" and you've covered the whole world.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Bus drivers...

      They should be down-trodden, paid a pittance and expect to be blamed for how bad the kids are.

      Now *THAT* sounds like ACTUAL communism to *ME* (not the other way around). Either that or feudalism at its worst.

      you were actually being snarky, right? right?

  7. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Kayaking

    I hope Summit County gets it squared away. Water-borne transport works only for certain months of the year at that altitude.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Kayaking

      Fit the Kayak with skis ?

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Kayaking

        "Fit the Kayak with skis ?"

        .... and a motor. It was uphill, both ways, when I was a kid.

  8. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge
    Stop

    anti-mask assholes

    The reason many US school districts can't get drivers is this "well, they can wear masks or not" attitude that anti-masker assholes have gotten forced into many districts. Covid is totally out of control, delta variant is rampant, but anti-mask assholes think they should be able to wander around in public, no vaccinations, and infect everyone around them. In our state, the idiot governor passed a law saying schools *can't* have mask mandates... thankfully this was overruled by the feds.) As an asshole and a hypocrite, she whined that localities should be able to make up their minds for themselves when the feds had a federal-level mask mandate and she didn't want it, then hypocritically took away localities right to decide when there was no federal mandate but sensible towns and school districts passed mandates on their own.

    Restaurants have the same issue (with restaurants, you have areas with no mask mandate; and areas with one, where anti-mask assholes make a point of showing up anyway with no mask then arguing about it. Usually falsely asserting their rights, ignoring the businesses right to be safe.)

    in both cases, people don't want to risk their lives (especially over something where simply both wearing masks cuts spread 99%, but people are too selfish). Packages are not gooing to give delivery drivers Covid, so I don't blame them choosing to deliver instead.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: anti-mask assholes

      (see icon)

  9. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Well this sounds familiar.

    I can only assume that the USA had the gall to leave the EU.

    The fools.

    1. codejunky Silver badge
      Angel

      @Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells

      "I can only assume that the USA had the gall to leave the EU.

      The fools."

      Damn you. Got there before me

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hmmm. No fuel or goods transportation problems on the continent. Wonder what the issue could be in the UK...?

      Been on many conf calls this week with people in other countries laughing at the Brits. I join in. No point defending the indefensible. Brexit means Brexit after all.

      1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

        Ireland is a few days behind us.

        Will you be laughing then?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Pulling Ireland into your Brexit shitstorm is hardly something to boast about. But whatever cheers you up at night.

      2. codejunky Silver badge

        @AC

        "No fuel or goods transportation problems on the continent. Wonder what the issue could be in the UK...?"

        Economic recovery after shutting down the economy for 2 years (the fuel problem is just a stupid panic buying issue).

        "Been on many conf calls this week with people in other countries laughing at the Brits"

        I am sure they do. They need to keep their spirits up somehow as they are behind the curve again.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @AC

          You misunderstand. It's not just people from Europe who are laughing. The entire world is laughing at the UK's expense.

          The fuel issue is panic buying. But it highlights how ill prepared the UK is. And the unintended consequences of having Brexit in the middle of a pandemic: Truckers go home to be with family during pandemic. Full fat withdrawal rules kick in midway. Truckers not allowed back in, nor to run loads inside the UK if delivering into/out-of the UK. Youcouldntmakeitup!

          Still. At least we have the comedy gold of the situation. And the Brexit Headbangers' denials.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: @AC

            @AC

            "You misunderstand. It's not just people from Europe who are laughing. The entire world is laughing at the UK's expense."

            Really? Where? I suppose some kooks somewhere might but thats about it.

            "The fuel issue is panic buying. But it highlights how ill prepared the UK is"

            How does it show how ill prepared we are? All petrol stations are seeing a huge increase in demand as people panic buy. Reports of some stations seeing a 500% increase in demand. There is no shortage of fuel and plenty drivers to deliver it but even in the best of times that increase in demand cannot be handled. Idiots are filling water bottles with fuel for gods sake!

            "And the unintended consequences of having Brexit in the middle of a pandemic"

            Something which highlighted a drastic and severe detriment of being in the EU. Only by leaving the EU did the UK come through the pandemic so well while the EU is behind the curve as per usual (see financial crisis).

            "Truckers go home to be with family during pandemic. Full fat withdrawal rules kick in midway. Truckers not allowed back in, nor to run loads inside the UK if delivering into/out-of the UK. Youcouldntmakeitup!"

            Well you can. The pandemic has caused the problem yes. Brexit doesnt even feature. There is a driver shortage in the US, when did they leave the EU? Europe has a growing shortage as they catch up to recovery, is that brexit? Just think- if all the drivers left the UK to go back to Europe how can they have a growing shortage? We were all hit by the pandemic and lockdown but somehow its brexit affecting the UK even though the others have the same problem?

            "Still. At least we have the comedy gold of the situation. And the Brexit Headbangers' denials."

            Bemusement at the determination that brexit is bad more like. I keep waiting for 'brexit caused the rain' or 'brexit made me stub my toe'.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @AC

              "We were all hit by the pandemic and lockdown but somehow its brexit affecting the UK even though the others have the same problem?"

              Now that's where only the Europeans laugh: When the statements from people in the UK say it's the same situation in the rest of Europe. It is not. No shortages here. Even with a lack of drivers, drivers from the whole EU can run loads wherever it is needed. But those statements are for domestic consumption.

              So long as the Headbangers can get people to believe it, they can hang on to their unreality for a little longer.

              Only 4 more years left for this Headbanger wet dream to come true ...

              1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

                Re: @AC

                According to the Irish Road Haulage Association: Ireland has coming "an imminent national emergency" due to a shortage of drivers.

                When did Ireland leave the EU?

                1. Imhotep Silver badge

                  Re: @AC

                  It is also a problem in the US.

              2. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: @AC

                @AC

                "When the statements from people in the UK say it's the same situation in the rest of Europe. It is not. No shortages here"

                As I said in my previous comment- https://forums.theregister.com/forum/all/2021/09/29/amazon_contributing_school_driver_shortages/#c_4340303

                Just because they are behind the curve. As they are catching up the lack of drivers is getting worse.

                "Even with a lack of drivers, drivers from the whole EU can run loads wherever it is needed."

                Lack of drivers in Europe. Kinda what happens when replacements aint trained up and existing drivers put out of a job for lockdown.

                "So long as the Headbangers can get people to believe it, they can hang on to their unreality for a little longer."

                This is where the unreality is amusing. As I said the same problem for the US, UK and developing in Europe but in the UK its brexit. Doesnt make sense.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Canadian school bus driver here

    Things are different here.

    When the schools went into lockdown in Ontario, we were still paid. The school boards didn't lose their funding, and the contracts with the bus companies were still in effect.

    All students are masked, unless the parents have provided the school board with proof of a medical exemption. Of the 137 kids I transport each day, only one has an exemption.

    My hours each week are still considered part time, but with the five runs each day, I log about 30 hours per week. Once field trips and sporting events are back up, I'll have the option to pick up even more hours.

    Oh, and the kids are not a problem. Maybe that's just a cultural difference between Canada and the US, but they are (mostly) polite and well-behaved.

    While I could make more money driving for Amazon, school bus driving is far more rewarding.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lateral thinking

    Amazon is a logistics and delivery business as far as I know. So why doesn't the school district simply outsource the delivery of kids to their schools, to Amazon and have done with it. The drivers get to work for Amazon and all the surprising benefits that seem to go along with that. The kids get dropped off at school and the school board can do away with its expensive aging fleet of buses and the irritations of personnel management.

    Not to mention the apparent guarantee of as many hours of work per week as you can stand (and perhaps a few extra on top of that).

    Sure, my eldest may baulk at the thought of being "delivered" in the same way that Amazon delivers our monthly cleaning supplies (read: left out in the rain, delivered to the wrong location, hurled against a door before being photographed, lost permanently, etc) but at least we'd get confirmation via email when they DID get delivered to school successfully.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Lateral thinking

      "So why doesn't the school district simply outsource the delivery of kids to their schools, to Amazon and have done with it."

      Then Amazon would have to purchase busses certified for use with school kids and operate for less money than the schools do so they can have a fat profit. Granted, the busses themselves are ratty as all hell, but the paperwork involved makes up the cost difference between a school bus and a touring coach about equal.

      If there is a way to outsource something cheaper that you do all of the time, you are doing it wrong.

  12. Jonjonz

    We see story after story these days of worker shortages usually proscribed to something other than fewer workers in the population. Maybe that should tell you something.

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