A photo from the Johnson
School Bus website detailing what one of the first
school buses looked like. The company began in 1942 and
was recently sold to a subsidiary of the Ozaukee and
Washington counties Shared Ride Taxi service.
WEST BEND — Family-owned Johnson Bus, which
started nearly eight decades ago with a milk truck and
two logging trucks, recently announced intentions to
sell its school bus service and is in the process of
finalizing the deal.
The Johnson family released a letter expressing thanks
for the local support.
"After more than 77 years of family ownership, the third
generation has made the difficult decision to sell the
family business," the letter said. "Like all business
owners, there comes a time to retire and begin enjoying
the benefits of a long, successful career."
The buyer is Landmark Transportation Services.
Specialized Transport Services, also owned by Johnson,
is being sold as well. STS provides shared-ride taxi
service to Washington and Ozaukee counties.
"It’s been a difficult decision that comes after
thoughtful deliberation and many sleepless nights," the
letter said. "It has been our life’s work to provide
safe transportation to the children entrusted to our
care. We cherish the memories and the relationships that
were built over the years."
Steve Johnson said the deal has not closed yet, but said
he hopes it will in the next two to three weeks and will
make an official announcement when it does.
According to its website, Aaron W. Johnson founded the
company in 1942 with three converted trucks. Today the
company has 11 terminal locations. They employ some 500
part-time and 50 full-time employees.
Driver Ken Brehmer of the Town of Trenton walks to his
bus Monday afternoon
at Johnson School Bus Services in West Bend.
John Ehlke/Daily News Staff
The company serves 14 school districts in southeast
Wisconsin and is now in its third generation of
The family with keep the bus terminals, so they will
Gina Johnson of Johnson Bus said she is very proud of
her father, uncle Dan and aunt Judy.
"They’ve been dedicated to keeping the legacy of Johnson
Bus going for 77 years, providing safe transportation to
students in southeast Wisconsin and giving back to the
community," she said. "I am so grateful that my
great-grandpa started the company and provided this
opportunity for generations of Johnsons."
It also gave her fond memories of her father.
"All my life I’ve known my dad to work for and lead the
family business," she said. "If you know my dad, he
likes to win — in card games, bike races — this
difficult decision to sell the company is winning in