The company running the Wausau School District’s bus service – First Student – says it’s making a number of changes to address the difficulties it’s had this year maintain school bus routes.
First Student has struggled to retain enough drivers to maintain school routes. The company isn’t alone. Metro Ride also struggled to attract enough bus rides, with its transit director often driving busses to help keep routes open.
First Student on Monday announced a number of plans to improve the situation:
- The company raised its starting wage to $20 per hour this year. That’s more than any other bus company in the region, First Student says.
- The company starting Monday brought in additional CDL drivers to help maintain Wausau bus routes
- The company installed a new management team, it says, with a proven track record of success and finding solutions.
- Their team of route planners are looking for efficiencies to keep the buses running smoother.
First Student in September apologized for bus route delays and cancellations that plagued the start of the school year. They vowed to fix things and this appears to be the result.
The company tried some new routes in the early days, and needed to make some adjustments before they got them right. But making up for a lack of drivers is a difficulty bus companies are seeing nationwide.