URBANA, Ill., (WCIA) — Peoria Charter is now back to regularly driving thousands of University of Illinois students to and from the Chicagoland area. 

This week, many are moving back to the U of I campus for the start of the semester. Over 5,000 students bought Peoria Charter tickets. 

Pre-pandemic, they drove about double that amount during move-in week. 

James Wang, the director of operations, said they are working to get back to where they were, but a driver shortage is making it difficult. 

“We’ve turned away so many. A lot of people got sold-out messages simply because we just don’t have enough drivers in our driving force to handle the load,” Wang said. “But, we’re slowly rebuilding the fleet and our driving force so we can accommodate numbers closer to what we had before COVID.”

During the school year, Wang said they are expecting to drive 2,000 students each week. Before the pandemic, they drove about 5,000 students each week. 

Some buses are also out of service. Various back orders on supplies are delaying necessary repairs needed to drive even more people.