2017-08-30 / School News

Bus routes resolved as school year gains traction

by Kate Evans

Morgan County Schools Transportation Department had some challenges during the first few days of school with broken-down buses, buses being removed from the line-up and students missing their buses because bus numbers had been changed.

Several bus routes were eliminated and combined, creating changes in bus schedules posted in The Morgan Messenger and on the school system’s website.

Most of the transportation issues have now been resolved, say school officials as Morgan County students enter their second week.

Bus breakdowns

School Bus Supervisor Tammy Painter said three buses were down during the first two days of school. Spare buses filling in for them showed placards in their window to tell students and teachers the original bus number.

Schools were notified about the changes in bus numbers but some parents and students may not have been notified, Painter said.

Bus drivers announced the bus number changes to students on their school bus on the first day of school. Some children that didn’t ride the bus the first day would have missed getting notice. Some kids were also picked up from school early on Monday due to the solar eclipse.

Painter said a few buses were also rotated from the line-up after schedules were prepared, due to their mileage being close to 100,000 miles or nearing the end of their warranty.

Painter said she didn’t receive any e-mails or calls from schools about there being a lot of kids missing their bus the first couple of days or any major concerns.

School bus transportation issues are normal for the first couple of weeks of school. New students and those attending a new school can take a little time to learn their new bus arrangements.

Kids may be on different bus schedules, have different bus numbers or have their bus in a different place in the line-up. Painter said even a few high school students missed their bus in the lineup and the bus had to circle around again to get them.

If buses are replaced by spare buses, the replacement bus is always parked in the correct line-up and the original bus number’s normal parking spot in front of the schools at dismissal time, she noted.

Painter said that the second day of school is usually the worst for bus problems since some parents of new kindergarteners and other students like to drive their children to school and also pick them up on the first day of school.

She noted that it generally takes around two weeks for the school bus issues to settle down and everything to be clicking and flowing.

Bus drivers wait at schools to make sure they have everyone on board and everyone is doing the best they can, especially with being short-staffed, Painter said.

“We all make it work. It takes a community,” Painter said.

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