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Shortage of bus drivers the latest staffing challenge for Oregon schools

Alan Booth inspect his bus before setting off on Route 513 in the Salem-Keizer School District. (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

A shortage of bus drivers in many parts of the state have shown just how valuable the ride to and from school is.

Districts and bus companies have been forced to combine or cancel routes, boost hourly pay and offer four-figure bonuses to attract drivers. 

In Eugene this week, parents were notified that rides on nine bus routes be cut beginning next Tuesday. 

The district will pay those parents up to $200 per month to figure out an alternative way to get their kids to school. To recruit new drivers, district officials are offering a 25% wage increase and bonuses of $500 per quarter for the remainder of the school year . . .