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First Student Bus Operating on Arcadian Avenue

Busing company gains conditional use permit approval for bus storage facility on a close vote at the Waukesha Plan Commission.

First Student will operate its school buses from Arcadian Avenue (Credit: Patch File Photo)
First Student will operate its school buses from Arcadian Avenue (Credit: Patch File Photo)

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.

Sarah Sallmann June 28, 2013 at 01:14 PM
I hope they plan on redoing the road on that part of Arcadian since their quick fix earlier this year made it even worse. They also need to extend the time of the left turn light from 164 to Arcadian since only one bus can make it through the green light.
Erik Helgestad June 28, 2013 at 02:34 PM
@Sarah Agreed. From 164 to about Harding Ave (really, closer to John's Root Beer) the road is pretty broken up and nasty. It's about as bad as East Avenue, and hopefully the work they are doing there will have it much improved once it's done, but this stretch of Arcadian could surely use the help.
Matt Gamble July 01, 2013 at 09:10 AM
I sure hope Waukesha is ready for the disaster that is "First Student". Which by the way should be called first dollar, last student. This company is laden with problems all over the country if anyone wants to take the time to investigate it. All this because you can get a text message from big brother when your child has gotten on and off a bus in exchange for a much lower bid than its closest competitor. (who by the way has been taking your students to and from school since you were going to school without so much as a hickup) How about parents just being parents again rather than big brother notifiying us where YOUR children are.

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