First Student, which will take over the busing of Waukesha School District students in August, will operate on Arcadian Avenue across the street from competing bus company Dairyland Bus.
The Waukesha Plan Commission narrowly approved a conditional use permit to allow the bus company to operate at 1415 Arcadian Ave. Concerns about traffic and road conditions made some Plan Commission members take an unsuccessful attempt to block the bus company from locating on Arcadian Avenue.
Commissioner Rick Congdon cited increased traffic flow as potential safety problems four times a day from the buses coming and going for his opposition to the facility at the Arcadian Avenue location.
“This is literally an accident waiting to happen,” Congdon said.
Meanwhile, an official with Waukesha School District asked the board to make a final decision Wednesday night as the bus company needs to start transporting students beginning in August.
"We need these buses at home," said Lauri Clifton, director of business services for Waukesha schools. "The sooner we can get started on this the better. ... We would encourage you to move forward with this project and not leave us in limbo."
Mayor Jeff Scrima disagreed with the opposition, adding that he is supporting a free marketplace and the Waukesha School District’s decision to switch busing companies. Dairyland Bus Company lost its contract as the long-time transportation provider to the Waukesha School District earlier this year to First Student.
“We do live in the largest city in the county,” Scrima said. “Cities do have traffic.”
Scrima and three other commissioners, Joan Francoeur, R.G. Keller and James Hoppe, approved the conditional use permit. Voting against it were Congdon, Kevin Larson and Vance Skinner.