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Gov. Hochul announces plan to address truck and bus driver shortage

A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for Jan. 26.

NEW YORK — On Wednesday, a new plan was announced to help get kids to school on the bus in the face of a driver shortage. To help with the critical shortage of truck and bus drivers, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a proposal that would allow for third parties to conduct Commercial Driver License road tests. 

The proposal also includes expanding capacity at state-run sites and reducing the time it takes to get qualified CDL drivers out on the road.

To allow for public comment on the plan, The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles is scheduled to hold a public hearing on Wednesday, Jan. 26. The meeting will take place virtually on WebEx from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

Written comments can be submitted to CDLThirdPartyTesting@dmv.ny.gov from Jan. 18 to Feb. 4.

"As we continue to fight this pandemic, we remain committed to expanding opportunities for New Yorkers, supporting our schools, and doing all we can to address the supply-chain issues that have affected many businesses throughout our state and country," Hochul said. "By enabling third parties to give the road test for truck and bus drivers, we will create new avenues for New Yorkers to begin exciting careers, for our children to get to school, and to ensure that vital goods get where they need to be."

The plan calls for a phased rollout of the initiative. The first phase would allow for other state agencies and authorities with larger commercial fleets to conduct CDL road tests. 

The second would allow for qualified private entities to conduct the tests. 

The DMV would establish monitoring systems to ensure road tests are administered in compliance with state and federal regulations.