Do you have what it takes to be a school bus driver? Local companies looking to fill bus driver shortage

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MILWAUKEE, Wis.-- A school bus driver shortage is striking Milwaukee Public Schools, forcing hundreds of students to be late or find a different ride to class each morning.

Local companies are trying to fill open positions fast. 

Wisconsin Central School Bus has 110 drivers on the road. Manager Rosalind Thomas is looking to hire at least 50 more to fill vacant routes.

"Our ideal candidate would be a parent so they can transport their students to and from school," Thomas said. 

There's a number of qualifications, like having a valid driver's license for more than one year, a clear background check, no more than three moving violations in 36 months, be able to pass a drug test and physical.

Thomas said it's also important for applicants to be patient, dependable and love kids.

"You will love once you get behind the wheel of that bus," Thomas said. "You will really love it."

Even if you've never driven a big yellow bus, Thomas said they'll teach you everything you need to know.

"How to maneuver the bus, how to properly do railroad crossings, discharging the students on rural routes," Lucretia Workman, a safety trainer, said.

More than 350 Milwaukee students are arriving late every day because drivers have to double up on routes.

"We have to find more people to be bus drivers," Milwaukee School Board President Bob Peterson said. "There's a lot of competition in terms of wages. Bus driving is a difficult job."

Companies are offering incentives like free rides to work and bonuses. 

If this is the job for you, you can visit Wisconsin Central School Bus at 200 West Oklahoma Ave. in Milwaukee or call 414-481-1000. Applicants can also find more information at driveayellowbus.com.

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