As students and teachers in many school districts return to the classroom this Thursday, school bus drivers will get back behind the wheel. And the School District of La Crosse is paying extra attention this year to its school buses after having problems last fall. Tonight FOX 25/48’s Erin O’Brien explains what the district is doing to make sure things go smoothly on the first day of school.
You might have seen lots of school buses on the roads in La Crosse today, without any kids. That’s because bus drivers went through a dry run today of their routes, making all their scheduled stops in real time.
“All summer long we’ve been preparing for the first day of school.”
After problems last year with First Student Bus Company, like missed pickups and late drop-offs, the School District of La Crosse is now working with a new company, Go Riteway.
“We were well aware of what occurred last year. We certainly made it our goal not to let that happen this year. And to that we have been putting a lot of time, energy and resources into practicing the routes, making sure our equipment is up to snuff and ready to go.”
“They’ve been able to, over the last several months, bring forward several employees, putting a good support system in place. They’ve spent a lot of time in our community making sure that this transition is one that’s going to be optimal for everyone.”
And with about 60 routes and three thousand students that rely on school buses, planning ahead can be complicated.
“We have a routing specialist who’s been working all summer on that, and in conjunction with the La Crosse School District that has been exceptionally helpful to us, I think we’ve got a pretty good plan of action ready to go.”
Go Riteway says that on the first day of school they’ll be taking things a little more slowly and carefully and they ask that parents and students remain patient and calm.
In La Crosse, Erin O’Brien, FOX 25/48 News at 9.
Go Riteway is also still hiring bus drivers. They say their routes are all covered but they’re still looking for substitute drivers.