Area school districts report no major impact felt by bus driver shortage on first day of class

NOW: Area school districts report no major impact felt by bus driver shortage on first day of class

GLENDALE, Wis. (CBS 58)-- There's a nationwide bus driver shortage, but area school districts starting Wednesday, Sept. 1 aren't experiencing the same issues that Milwaukee Public Schools did because of it.

Some Milwaukee students reported arriving late or being left stranded at bus stops. Nicolet Union School District in Glendale didn't report any problems.

"Really just as smooth of a first start as any other day, any other year," Nicolet Superintendent Dr. Greg Kabara said.

In other years, schools weren't as hard-pressed to find bus drivers as they are now. That's why Kabara was happy to see almost all of his students were in class when the bell rang this morning.

"We had just one late bus, but that's typical for the first day," Kabara said.

Most local bus companies are feeling the loss. Nicolet partners with Riteway Buses. Together, Kabara said they're adjusting where needed to make up for it.

"They're just keeping us informed or letting us know how service is going," Kabara said. "We have some plan b's and some back-ups."

The Wauwatosa School District also started classes Wednesday. The bus driver shortage doesn't impact them like it would other districts, because they don't offer as many routes.

"We have some buses that drop some of our kids off, but we're a neighborhood school district," Superintendent Dr. Demond Means said. "We really emphasize the neighborhood school concept, and make sure our kids are able to walk and bike to school."

Whether walking, biking, or hopping on the bus, the priority is just getting students to class on time safely.

"Just good to have that consistency and normalcy, I think," Kabara said. "Back to a regular routine and a regular school day."

Local bus companies are still recruiting new drivers. They're offering competitive pay and incentives to get people in the door.

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