SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. (KABC) -- After a father noticed that his son Eli's bus was often delayed -- sometimes by more than an hour -- to take him to school, he took it upon himself to fill the position despite already having a full-time job.
"At the beginning of the year, there were a lot of days we'd get a call that (the) bus would be late up to half an hour, 20 minutes, an hour, an hour and a half," said Rick Daynes, the dual father and bus driver for the Poway Unified School District, according to KGTV.
Eventually, Daynes did a little digging into the position. Another driver told Daynes that she would clock in at 6 a.m. and clock out by 9 a.m.
"I said, '6 to 9 a.m. I can do that,'" said Daynes, who already a full-time job of his own. "A lot of time in the community, we sit around and say, 'You know what, the city really needs to fill in these potholes over here. And the district, they really need to do this or do that,' and I found myself in a situation where I could make a difference."
For Eli, a member of the school's special needs program, it was a thrill to have his father pick him up for school. And for Daynes, the experience has been the chance of a lifetime as well.
"Our family has been members of the special needs community for a long time, and I've always had a place in my heart for them. And now that I get to drive them to school, it's just amazing. We play music, sing. We just have a ball together," said Daynes.
For the school district, the added driver was welcomed with open arms. The district hopes to hire as many new drivers as they.
And they hope that heartfelt stories like Daynes' inspire more people to get behind the wheel of a yellow school bus.
"There's a severe driver shortage and it's not easy, but it might be the most gratifying job you've ever had," said Frank Kenny, a driving instructor for Poway Unified.