School Bus Permits

By: Cara Restelli
By: Cara Restelli

A new bill passed in the Illinois state legislature is aimed at keeping kids safe. But, could end up putting some area charter bus companies out of business.

Senate bill 2164 calls for all bus drivers, charter or otherwise, to have a school bus driver permit if they plan on transporting students.

It’s a bill that passed unanimously in June, but those who it affects the most are just now finding out about.

As the operations manager for the Dixon Meyers Railways Motor Coach company, James Sulser says about 50-60 percent of his business comes from taking kids various places; including field trips and sporting events.

But, a letter he got this week from sterling high school could change all that. From the letter Sulser found out that a bill passed both the house and senate requiring his drivers to now get a school bus driver permit

Senator Dave Syverson says the legislation stems from a number of accidents involving coach drivers without a school bus driver permit. None were serious, but still need to be addressed

Sulser doesn't buy it. He says his drivers are just as qualified, maybe more, than some school bus drivers.

The bill now awaits Governor Ryan’s signature, but Sulser says he'll lose business even if it’s vetoed.

That's because many school districts are already requesting bids for transportation, but only from drivers with the school bus permit


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