Will the Bus be Here?

The real issue regarding why there have been problems on the buses to and from school activities.

Will the Bus be Here?

Before or after sports games, buses are expected to bring students there and back efficiently, while at the same time keeping them safe. 

While this may seem simple to those riding the buses, it is difficult to do especially when there is a lack of drivers.

Chief’s biggest challenge right now is finding people to drive buses,” the Executive Director of Business Support Services, Ryan Lindquist said.

Students may view these issues as a concern that needs to be addressed, but the district administration has been working on trying to find solutions to this problem.

Athletes on sports teams may stress the importance of getting to games on schedule to have time to warm up and prepare beforehand.

“When a bus breaks down the bus driver usually has to call someone or the girls have to get a ride so we aren’t late to our game,” softball player Ellie Lary said. 

A bus breaking down is out of the bus driver and the administration’s control, but it can put more stress on the bus driver to make sure the incident is fixed and acted on correctly, while their main goal is to get the athletes from point A to point B. 

Problems with a bus may seem stressful and upsetting when it initially happens, but it rarely affects how athletes play or the success of the team. 

“Luckily one time [the bus broke down] it was after a tournament so we were all just tir

ed. Another time was before a game but we didn’t let that affect how we played and ended up winning that game,” volleyball player Haylee Wolf said.

Another challenge of the bus drivers being late is the after school commute disrupting the efficiency of the drivers getting to pick up the athletes.

“I know our biggest challenge is when activities need to leave at the same time our bus routes do,” Lindquist said. “Normally, the route drivers are the ones driving activities as well, so that makes it challenging as additional drivers have to be found.”

The lack of drivers is more widespread than just the bus company, but in many aspects of the school setting. 

“With the unemployment rate as low as it is, Chief is having a hard time finding drivers,” Lindquist said. “This is a similar challenge we are having finding Food Service workers, TA’s and custodians as well. This is fairly common among all districts in the metro.”

The district will continue to work with our bussing company, which is Chief School Bus, but the main issue of being able to find bus drivers is the stem of buses being late to pick up athletes and bring them from place to place. 

The Elkhorn District has also taken the opportunity to have coaches and activity associated drivers to help out by bringing athletes to their games.

“Coach Doscher is one of our drivers and I know he has helped drive some of the teams at ENHS when he can,” Lindquist said.

To wrap it all up, the issues students, as well as athletes have been experiencing on the school buses originally stems from a driver shortage. The district is actively working to improve these problems.