Transportation maintains excellent safety record with upgrades to bus fleet
The Wayne County School Transportation Department is ready to roll with bus driver update training, summer maintenance checks, new and used buses recently purchased, and a newly designed route schedule planned for the opening of school.
It all plays out seamlessly, even though it is a complex process behind the scenes to orchestrate. There are 45 regular route buses that travel approximately 2,385 miles per day. In addition there are three special need buses.
This school year the preschool buses will not be running the morning and afternoon routes, due to a lack of bus drivers. Preschoolers will ride buses on the regular routes for one leg of their two-way journey. Most school districts do not provide buses just for preschool students, however, Wayne County has provided this specialized service in past years to be accommodating. The small sized buses will be able to run at midday to transport preschoolers who are leaving the am session or being picked up for the pm session. These changes will improve the efficiency of the fleet, cutting down on busing expense and mileage on the fleet.
“It will be important for parents to drop their preschoolers off at the bus stop in the morning and pick them up at the bus stop in the afternoons,” said Transportation Director Justin Alley. “We will still have monitors to sit near them on both the preschool midday bus and on the regular route bus ride.
Families should not necessarily expect their student to be riding the same bus as last year because some of the routes have changed. They will find out what bus their child will be riding this year at their school orientation. The transportation staff have designed this year’s transportation routes based off the current enrollment. This complex project is fluid because students relocate, the census changes, and the population shifts.
Besides having a CDL license and Passenger in School Endorsement through the state, the drivers have received extra training in everything from first aid to CPR to trauma to emergency medication training in the rare case that it is needed on the bus.
The transportation department is excited to have four new drivers, five new (34, 56, 66, and two 78-passenger) buses, and six new used buses that will upgrade the fleet. Maintenance is the key to keeping all the buses in good working order.
“Each bus runs through a monthly inspection,” explained Bus Garage Supervisor Tracy Turpin. The state mandates the inspection which include checks on tires, oil, interior conditions, air brake system, and lights – just to name a few of the parts of the bus that are analyzed. In the meantime, mechanics work on everyday malfunctions like a flat tire or a light out, for instance.
During the summer, all the regular route buses have undergone a summer inspection checking everything from oil to fuel filters, to transmission fluid.
The parent pick up area behind Monticello Elementary has been improved this summer with blacktopping. Several rough spots on the main campus roads have also been patched. The renovation project is nearing completion at Monticello Elementary and students will notice that the gymnasium is now air conditioned, plus they will find an updated look for the family resource center.
Alley, who also serves as the facility director, said the floors are waxed at every school and the buildings will be in good shape to welcome students back to in-person learning.
Wayne County Schools Transportation/Facilities Director Justin Alley spoke to Emergency Management System Director Bubby Corder, who was providing safety training with colleague Dwayne Perkins during the bus drivers 8-hour update training.
Transportation Assistant Dwight Dobbs discussed the new bus routes with the audience at the training.
Transportation Assistant Johnny Young explained the schedule for the day, while providing some helpful tips to drivers
Drivers participate in the training seminar
Drivers and monitors take in safety information