Bozeman schools propose fines for bus driver shortage

BOZEMAN (AP) — The Bozeman School District is proposing hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines against its busing contractor due to a driver shortage that led to cancelled routes.

Business manager Mike Waterman says the district did not pay First Student Inc. for the first month of the school year because it was in default of the contract.

First Student has been unable to hire enough drivers and cancelled four routes, leading to fines of $8,000 a day. The company hopes to have enough drivers by next Monday.

First Student asked trustees to waive the $373,000 in fines and re-write the contract to reduce future fines. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports trustees denied that request Monday, saying they wanted to focus on solving the driver shortage.

Waterman said it would be unfair to change the contract after First Student won the bid.