Taking it one route at a time: Green Bay bus driver juggles day to day life during pandemic

From the Local 5 Digital Desk

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – One Green Bay bus driver has a unique story to tell, and it starts behind the wheel.

Kodi Baker, a bus driver at Lamers Bus Lines, is juggling a lot right now. Baker is a mother of two and has been a driver for a little over a year, but has had her bus routes reduced due to the pandemic. She was collecting unemployment over the summer and is now working a second job while going back to school.

“I had to get a part-time job to manage what I wasn’t making, because of the cut hours and unemployment. I’m still doing it right now just to get caught back up.”

Working at Lamers has allowed her schedule to be more flexible. Her children, 5-year-old Josie and 2-year-old Lucas, ride with her on her bus routes. Sitting directly behind her on the bus, Josie is playing a game on her iPad while Lucas is sleeping.

“My kids get to come with me which is great, and then I also have time in between to do my schooling, and then I’m done in time to do my night classes. I actually started here because I went back to school. “

Her busy schedule can be overwhelming sometimes. Baker’s family has to step in regularly to help her balance everything.

“It’s been a little crazy and hectic. We definitely have to have help. I literally leave here a couple of nights a week and then get dropped off at a grandparent’s house.”

Due to most Green Bay area public schools transitioning to virtual learning, Baker is driving a county route, driving adults with Down Syndrome to Aspiro. Her riders are handling the effects of COVID-19 better than others.

“I was given the opportunity right around Thanksgiving time to drive for a county route. It pretty much puts me back to what kind of hours I had when I started originally. It is different. It’s not as easy to be able to talk to them. They talk about how much they don’t like COVID and how it needs to go away.”

Thanks to the help of her husband and parents, Baker is managing to do it all. Taking every day one route at a time.

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