row of buses

The Santa Fe Public Schools (SFPS) is experiencing a shortage of school bus drivers and is seeking the public’s help.  “In order to keep all routes operating and provide safe, high-quality and timely transportation services for our students and schools, we are actively recruiting school bus drivers,” said Superintendent Hilario “Larry” Chavez.  

Currently, SFPS has 30 bus drivers and 39 bus routes.  This week, SFPS informed parents through school communications that seven of its routes would be temporarily discontinued starting Monday, November 6th, impacting 257 students.   “This lack of drivers has resulted in parents’ and families’ concerns over students’ timely arrival at school and return home, which we share,” he said.

“SFPS has worked diligently to address this issue, which is prevalent across the state and nation.  It is with a heavy heart that we announced this week the reduction of school bus routes.  Our hope is that the community heeds this call and responds to meet this challenge,” he said.

The temporarily discontinued routes serve Atalaya, Chaparral, Tesuque and Wood Gormley Elementary Schools, El Camino Real Academy, El Dorado Community School, Milagro Middle School, Early College Opportunities High School, Mandela International Magnet School and Santa Fe High School. 

SFPS is pursuing a variety of solutions, he said, including seeking the support of the New Mexico National Guard, holding job fairs, increasing job postings on social media and online job sites, advertising on school buses, increasing starting pay for bus drivers to $19.00 hourly, contracting with private bus companies, providing cash incentives for employees recruiting bus drivers and recruiting students who meet age requirements to work in the Transportation Department. 

For information on how to become a school bus driver, please call the Transportation Department at 505-467-3500.  To access a fact sheet on the shortage, please visit