On my way into Fletcher this morning I was behind one of our school buses and began to wonder how they map all of the routes? Now, to get to Fletcher from my house involves a series of turns on windy dirt roads. The first time I drove that route I was questioning where my GPS was taking me. I was thinking that beyond Fletcher, all of FWSU covers a large geographical area with a variety of road conditions throughout the five seasons. Mud season is a real season! Transporting our students to and from school, to co-curricular events, and all the other destinations is such a crucial component and it takes a lot of coordination to pull it off.
There are so many gears that need to work in unison. I’m sure most folks know we are still looking to hire additional drivers. Which means some drivers do double duty and compete two runs in the morning and two in the afternoon. Sometimes routes change and the office staff needs to make sure communications go out to all families. And despite all the maintenance and upkeep, buses break down. The level of coordination and collaboration is impressive!
Earlier this year, as some of you may know, we revived a few electric buses. Characterized by their signature blue highlights they drive down the road in almost complete silence. I have to admit it took me a few rides to get used to it. With almost a full season under our belts we are learning quite a bit. Students are analyzing some of the metrics we collect and will help us determine their effectiveness. With diesel prices skyrocketing, I’m guessing more and more schools will be considering this as an option.
I took a quick visit to the BFA bus garage after my ride to Fletcher and was, yet again, reminded it takes a full team to make this part of our system work. Two buses were in for some regular maintenance. Without our mechanic, this would not be an option.