PEWAUKEE, Wis. — It’s a problem being felt nationwide. The demand for bus drivers is higher than ever, but drivers are nowhere to be found.
Students at Pewaukee High School started feeling the effects of the bus driver shortage last year in the spring. Mainly, the school’s 650 student-athletes.
“We had students that were leaving significantly early so the bus could drop them off at the other school and be able to be back for the afternoon route,” said Pewaukee High School Principal Brian Sniff.
“We had to find creative ways to get our athletic teams to events,” said Pewaukee High School and Middle School Athletic Director Jeff Behrens.
Currently, the GO Riteway transportation group, which partners with Pewaukee High School, says they have 21 bus drivers for the upcoming school year. That’s just enough to get by at the moment.
“On any given night, we might have two or three teams that might be traveling so that requires bus drivers for each of those,” said Sniff.
That’s when Sniff and Behrens decided to go the extra mile to help. They both decided to get their commercial driver’s licenses (CDL). This means they’ll be able to step in whenever there’s a need for a bus driver to take athletic teams to away games or students to field trips.
“It’s another hat, but we are willing to do whatever we need to do to serve our kids,” said Behrens.
“I happen to be a parent of a student who is on the track team and I thought to myself, well if I got my CDL I’m already going to the track meet, I could just simply drive them there and drive them back,” said Sniff.
The pair will take their official bus driving test this Friday. When they pass, they say they’ll help out in any way they can for as long as they need to.
If you’d like to become a bus driver for the Pewaukee School District, click here.