It’s a valuable load that Roger Garcia, Director of the SAISD bus transportation service and several employees is preparing to carry this coming school year. But before the wheels on the bus go round and round, workers are making sure that the big yellow buses are good to go.
“Check breaks, replace breaks if need be, replace tires, if there's any graffiti on the seats, replace seat covers, any damage glass or lights that might not be working anything that relates to safety it all gets done,” Garcia says.
So what does it take to transport 3,500 students per school day and keep them safe? Well, school officials say that they are making sure that the ones behind the wheel are fully prepared.
"We have staff certified trainers, that take them and go over the laws and regulations making sure their ready, there is also a 20 hour class that the region center will send them to, to make sure that they are prepared," Garcia says.
Garcia not only encourages the 88 SAISD bus drivers to be entirely equipped with driving safety skills for their 201 square miles radius but also the fellow drivers.
“It's all safety, year in and year out the biggest concern of ours is people running the red lights, when we are trying to load and unload students. We've had several of near misses where people for some reason are distracted and for some reason are not watching the students getting on and off the bus,” Garcia says.
Monday morning the buses will roll out of the lot at 6:00 A.M. to begin theirs and their passengers first day of school.
Garcia adds, “Dress them appropriately and have them and instruct them on how to ride the bus safely, and the rest is up to us.”
If you're wondering what routes your child will be taking on the first day of school, you can phone 659-3609 or visit the school's website at www.saisd.org.