Bus drivers affecting sports

Posted: December 10, 2021

Bus driver shortage affects high school sports

The current bus driver shortage is impacting high school athletics more severely than ever in the past. There has been a shortage of bus drivers since a few years before the pandemic. The main reasons people are unwilling to be a bus driver is the irregular work hours and undesirable pay. Most of the time it’s early in the morning, in the middle of the afternoon, and late in the evening.

“It was probably the most stressful part of my swim season this year,” said Emily Firkus, who is the Minnehaha swim coach and middle school science teacher. The majority of the swim team is not able to drive, so they had to rely on buses or parents to get them to their meets. On days when there were no buses for the team, she would have to rely on parents being able to drop everything and get their child to the meet.

“Last year was actually one of the easiest years I’ve had scheduling buses for athletics,” said Emily Kennett who is the Assistant to Athletic Director

Last year, the majority of schools were still virtual and bus drivers were not driving those schools’ bus routes. However, this year, with the majority of the state back in-person for school, many of the drivers have to drive the normal daily routes. Kennett usually sends the bus company a list of all the buses the sports will need about a month before each season starts. 

“This year they let me know ahead of time the bus driver shortage is really bad,” said Kennett. They also informed her that she would need to get the information about the buses needed as soon as possible. 

“There have been some days when they have told us right away. I’m not going to be able to schedule a bus for that game or that meet,” said Kennett. 

Other times where she gets the call during or after lunchtime saying they can’t get a driver for the trip that’s in a couple of hours. 

“And then we’re scrambling trying to figure out how are we going to get another bus.” Kennet described. 

Multiple times this fall, sports would have to share a bus with each other if they were going to the same area.

“From what I’ve been told from both of our busing contractors, they’re starting to get more drivers now.” Scott Glenn, the Director of Transportation said. This means that hopefully, buses will be more accessible for the winter and spring athletic seasons. 


You may also like…

PWHL Minnesota season in review

From underdogs to champions, PWHL Minnesota had a whirlwind of a season As the last buzzer sounded, Minnesota’s gloves and helmets went flying. Only this time, it was for real.  Game four of the PWHL finals went into two overtime periods before Minnesota's Sophie...

Churches Pushing Assimilation

In 1493, following Columbus’ arrival in the New World, the Doctrine of Discovery changed the scope of European involvement in the Americas for centuries. Signed by Pope Alexander VI, this Doctrine permitted Europeans, the Portuguese and Spanish in particular, to claim...

Track and field record-breakers

Click the photo below to view a galleryAthletes smash school records! (This story has been updated to include end-of-season records.) It’s been yet another record-breaking season for the Minnehaha track and...

Are high-school grades accurate?

How grade inflation is affecting the current generation of students In the education system, grades are everything to a student… or are they? They often are used to help others rank your work ethic and mentality. However, these numbers are starting to steer far off...

The ins and outs of sports medicine

MA's athletic trainer and strength & conditioning coach support students Minnehaha is home to many exceptional sports teams and hundreds of student-athletes.  Behind those teams and athletes are many amazing coaches who know how to bring out the best in each...