Some EVSC students on ‘wait list’ for bus ride to school

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Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 6:58 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - With less than a month before school starts, some parents in the EVSC system have receiving troubling letters from the school regarding transportation.

These letters say that the buses their children should be assigned to are full, and they’ve been put on a waitlist. This didn’t sit well with EVSC parent Michael Strohmeier.

“My wife said the other day, ‘you’re not going to believe this, I just got a letter from the school saying that they’re not going to have bus transportation this year to school.’ I said you got to be kidding me,” says Strohmeier.

“I mean I could see them sending something out at the end of last school year so people would have time to make accommodations for transportation or different schooling or homeschooling or whatever it may be,” says Strohmeier, “but you know, a month away from the starting of school?”

EVSC Chief Communications Officer Jason Woebkenberg says these wait lists are something that have only been around in the past couple of years, due to a bus driver shortage brought on by the pandemic.

He says they’ve been able to route 96% of the EVSC’s kids already, and they’ve got people whose entire job is to find out how to get kids into bus seats.

“It is a matter of finding enough drivers. If we had enough drivers to drive every yellow school bus we have in the EVSC, we wouldn’t be having this conversation,” says Woebkenberg.

He also knows there’s a chance that it takes a few weeks even after school starts to get everybody off the list.

He wants to assure parents that they’ll be working to rectify it as quickly as possible.

“If there is a situation where someone starts the year on a waitlist, please know that we will do everything in our power, in light of the bus driver shortage, to make sure they’re on a bus just as soon as possible,” says Woebkenberg.

Even with the EVSC working to get routing and seating for every child that needs it, for parents like Strohmeier, the clock is ticking.

“If this shortage has been going on for a while, they should have known this and maybe planned a little further ahead to address these problems and address these issues,” says Strohmeier, “and to make the proper decisions to get that worked out for families, to make it easier on them.”

Woebkenberg says a solution to this issue for everybody is bring on more drivers. He says they offer benefits and will train you.

A link to an application form can be found here, or you can call 812-435-1BUS.

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