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Wausau School District bus driver shortage could cause cancellation of events

Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 7:14 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Rolling into the new school year was a bumpy ride for the Wausau School District. They dealt with a bus driver shortage that could cause them to shift event locations and times of school events. Or they might even have to cancel them altogether.

“You can’t drive around town without seeing a First Student sign ‘drivers wanted,” said Bob Tess, the chief finance and business service officer for the Wausau School District.

Wausau School District started recruiting bus drivers for this year last winter and they haven’t had much luck so far. They called every bus provider in the area. Tess said they have to prioritize with these circumstances.

“Since drivers are in such demand right now in short supply, our top priority is getting kids to and from school,” said Tess.

Tess said that if some coaches would be willing to get certified to drive students to events, it would help a lot. Even with that assistance, the driver shortage could still have an impact on after-school activities and sporting events. Field trips will not be able to overlap with normal business hours. Tess said schools will have to be flexible this year.

“Changing the start time, changing the location, contacting with different bussing providers throughout the area. But it is being a challenge right now, It’s tough to accommodate every one of those trips,” said Tess.

Not everyone would be willing to take on such an important task.

“It takes a unique person that wants those kinds of hours and have that kind of responsibility.”

If you would like to help out the Wausau District and become a driver, go to the First Student website.

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