For about the last six years, Murphy (pictured with STN Publisher Tony Corpin at the 2011 NAPT Summit) has dealt with school district budget reductions at Austintown Local Schools, which means she has to, once again, reroute the district’s fleet of 50 buses, 43 of which are used for regular routes.
”We have combined, condensed and reduced our miles, drivers and hundreds of thousands of dollars,” she told STN in early June, when school was still in session for another 30 days and she was busy as ever.
In addition to the normal daily duties specific to her title of transportation supervisor, she was filling in wherever else she could, including driving the buses in the morning and afternoon. A recent driver shortage resulted after the board of education voted to eliminate driver health care benefits to curb costs. Instead of being behind the wheel, Murphy said many drivers were making doctor’s appointments before their benefits expired.
About five hours out of Murphy’s 12-hour day were dedicated to driving.
“Running eight routes for two weeks allowed me to put subs on the buses,” she said. At the same time, Murphy also was interviewing qualified bus drivers for the new school year. Plus, she had been summoned for jury duty.
But she wasn’t complaining. For Murphy, and many others in this industry, it’s all part of the job.
The 2012 STN EXPO begins July 21 and runs through July 25.
Read more on STN EXPO scholarships in the July 2012 magazine edition.