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Bus Driver Shortage: Brown Deer School District is the latest to be impacted

The district said routes will go back to normal Wed. afternoon
Posted at 1:13 PM, Sep 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-22 14:13:53-04

BROWN DEER — Some Brown Deer students saw some different faces on their bus routes Wednesday morning. That's because the district is blending bus routes.

There were four routes consolidated into two due to driver shortages. This caused delays for pickups, and one mother said any delay can be difficult for parents who have to go to work.

"It could put in some risk with your job or any other situation you've got going on," said Brionna Hale, Brown Deer Elementary parent.

Hale has a kindergartener who doesn't ride the school bus just yet, but she said after hearing about the delays she's not sure riding the bus will be an option for her daughter.

"I don't think I will [put her on the bus] because I don't want to go through that as a parent," Hale said. "I wouldn't want her going through that."

The Brown Deer School District said it's been having a tough time hiring and retaining bus drivers this school year.

The district posted this message on Facebook:

Statement on The Brown Deer School District Facebook
Statement on The Brown Deer School District Facebook

The driver shortage is hitting just about every school district in the nation.

According to the National Association for Pupil Transportation, "Every region of the country is currently altering transportation service due to COVID. Seventy-nine percent (79%) of respondents in the Northeast said they have altered service, 77% in the Midwest, 66% percent in the South, and 80% in the West."

The Brown Deer School District said they are working with Riteway, the bus company to ensure that they have qualified drivers that can transport students to and from school safely.

We reached out to Riteway for a comment in regards to the issue. We still haven't heard back.

The communications director with the district said bus routes will go back to normal by Wednesday afternoon. She doesn't anticipate blended bus routes or future delays.

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