Assemblyman Mark Walczyk (R,C,I-Watertown) recently wrote to Gov. Kathy Hochul requesting she take action to address the shortage of school bus drivers. The shortage has led to school closures in districts across the state and has been a serious concern with administrators in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties.
“I’ve met with educators and this was one of their priorities, so I wanted to make sure Gov. Hochul heard the message loud and clear. It looks like she did because she announced a plan to make it easier for people to get their CDL license,” said Walczyk. “This is good news not only for schools but also our entire economy. I’m glad the governor is listening and encourage anyone interested in obtaining a CDL to participate in this program.”
The plan allows third parties to offer the required testing to obtain a CDL, which is required not only to become a commercial trucker but also required to become a school bus driver. This greatly expands the availability of testing options across the state for anyone who is interested in transportation jobs, such as truck driving or becoming a school bus driver – both of which are in high demand right now.
Before the plan is enacted, the state Department of Motor Vehicles will hold a public hearing to vet the idea. Walczyk encourages the public, as well as educators, transportation industry employees, economists, small businesses owners and others to participate. The virtual hearing will be held on Jan. 26 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and comments can be submitted ahead of time. To submit your comments, please email CDLThirdPartyTesting@dmv.ny.gov. To watch the hearing, please go to: WebEx. To learn more about obtaining a CDL license, please go to: https://dmv.ny.gov/commercial-drivers.