POWAY, Calif. (KGTV) — A North County dad is one of the newest bus drivers for Poway Unified School District after realizing the bus driver shortage was directly impacting his family.
"At the beginning of the year, there were a lot of days we’d get a call that bus would be late up to half an hour, 20 minutes, an hour, an hour and a half," said Rick Daynes.
Daynes is the father of Eli, a student in Willow Grove Elementary School's special education program. His goal was to help with the bus driver shortage, but when he was finished with his classes and was ready to take on the streets in the big yellow bus, something exciting happened.
"The driver who had this particular route with Eli, she decided to take another route, so this became open," said Frank Kenny, a driving instructor for Poway Unified.
Daynes jumped at the opportunity and is now the regular bus driver for Eli and other students in Willow Grove's special education program.
"Our family has been members of the special needs community for a long time and I’ve always had a place in my heart for them. And now that I get to drive them to school, it’s just amazing, we play music, sing, we just have a ball together," said Daynes.
A new pool of trained bus drivers for Poway Unified will start Monday, but Kenny said they're always looking for new drivers.
"There’s a severe driver shortage and it’s not easy, but it might be the most gratifying job you’ve ever had," said Kenny.