SAN ANTONIO -- It took four summer job fairs but the city's largest school district said it finally has found enough bus drivers.
The challenge now for the Northside Independent School District is to get the more than 100 rookie bus drivers trained and behind the wheel by the start of school on Monday.
For many of the new drivers, Thursday was their first day on the job.
The district held what amounted to a pep rally for its Transportation Department with goal of motivating the drivers for what’s down on the road.
“The driving part is the easy part,” said NISD Transportation Director Rafael Salazar. “It's once the kids get on board that's the challenging part."
With dozens of drivers leaving the district this summer for more lucrative trucking jobs in the oil fields, the school district looked for retirees, stay-at-home moms, and drivers wanting part-time work.
By working part-time, Kurt Zimmerman will now have time to train to become an international missionary.
Zimmerman said the job was a good fit for him but admits he’s a little nervous.
"I used to be a concrete pump operator, so I am used to driving big trucks,” he said. But a school bus is different. You have much more precious cargo than concrete."
With so many new drivers, NISD officials said it could still take a week or two before they are all cleared and ready to drive. In the meantime, the district said substitute drivers have been hired for the first week of school.