Parents, students frustrated by bus route cancellations

School bus
School bus(wsaw)
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 10:18 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Bussing in the Wausau School District continues to cause frustration for parents and students as a shortage of drivers means two routes a day are cancelled on average.

Kelly Brandt and her son Levi rely on the bus to get to and from school. Her son called her in tears because he thought he missed the bus Monday, only to find out it came 30 minutes late while he was on the phone.

“Tell us if we’re going to have a lapse in schedule as soon as you find out. This specific incident, this week was a planned absence,” Brandt said.

On Tuesday, the route was cancelled altogether. Brandt had to drive Levi and some neighborhood kids to school. Now, she wants answers.

“The school is telling me to call the bus company, and the bus company is telling me the school should be notifying us.” Brandt said.

Bus company First Student has an app that’s supposed to help. Brandt says you need to have the student’s I.D. and bus route numbers before you can use it.

“Even so, you have to track by the bus, so I haven’t gotten it to work, even since Tuesday,” Brandt said.

Not only is it a headache for parents. It’s causing trouble for students like Levi too.

“I have to like go to the office and get a slip to be allowed to go to my classroom, so I don’t really like doing that,” Levi said.

Brandt says it’s hard for working parents like her who aren’t always home when something like this happens. Instead, she says it would be much easier if route cancellations were announced like school closings.

“Someone needs to be accountable for getting these kids to school every day,” Brandt said.