'An industry-wide issue:' Dousman Transport Company gets creative amid school bus driver shortage

MUKWONAGO -- It may become a lot more difficult for kids to get to school, with bus companies across Wisconsin experiencing difficulty finding qualified drivers.

"It's an industry-wide issue for transportation in general," said Allen Buchholz with Dousman Transport Company, Inc. "Other terminals are short anywhere from just a couple to double-digits. We're lucky here in Mukwonago to have just enough drivers to cover the start of this school year."

But if someone isn't able to make it in for their shift...

"It's an everyday thing, where, if someone calls in sick, you wonder, 'Am I going to have enough people to cover that?'" said Buchholz.

Fortunately, at Dousman Transport Company, Inc. office staff is able to step in, but other companies aren't as lucky.

"You're looking at the doubling of routes, longer ride times, longer wait times," said Buchholz.

In an effort to attract more drivers, they got creative.

"We have hiring bonus, a sign-on bonus, competitive wages," said Buchholz. "We allow you to take your small children with you on the bus. That allows us to bring moms in, single parents, who would otherwise have to pay for day care."

If you've ever thought about becoming a bus driver, those at Dousman Transport Company, Inc. said they'll let you sit behind the wheel and try it out for yourself. It's not as easy as it looks!

"Spend a couple hours with us and see how it is," said Rachel Eisert, driver/trainer.

"Begin the process of training you through book materials to get your permit," said Buchholz. "That's several tests. That's a school bus passenger CDL, and a signs test."

CLICK HERE to learn more about Dousman Transport Company, Inc. and becoming a school bus driver.