BRPS practices bus safety

BRPS has been able to purchase six new school buses through its 2018 bond. The transportation department is working on updating its buses and making them as uniform as possible. (Pioneer file photo)

BIG RAPIDS — The Big Rapids Public Schools Transportation Department is gearing up for the start of the 2019-20 school year with new buses and methods of keeping kids safe as they travel to and from school.

With the passage of the bond proposal in May 2018, BRPS was able to purchase six new school buses with updated features. Since 2016, they have purchased a total of 12 new buses.

“The passage of the bond has allowed us to buy new buses, which will help get kids to and from school safely,” Tim Haist, superintendent at BRPS, said.

The new buses have four cameras and wider steps to make it easier to get on and off the bus. They also have updated radio systems for better communication between drivers in case of an emergency.

“All our buses have four cameras, so you can see all around the bus. It’s taken care of a lot of the investigative work when it comes to figuring out which kids are misbehaving,” Mark Weller, transportation director at BRPS, said.

Weller also said BRPS transportation is working on making its entire fleet of buses more updated and uniform, which helps with maintenance and repairs.

“We have a great group of drivers who work hard everyday and an excellent mechanic,” Weller said. “We couldn’t do it without them.”

Additionally, BRPS bus drivers will be taking the time to meet with parents on the first day of school.

This will give parents a chance to put a face to a name, get to know the bus route, as well as become familiar with pick-up and drop-off times, Weller said.

The transportation department also will be bringing back Buster the Bus, a program that teaches kids about proper bus safety and etiquette in a fun and interactive way.

Buster the Bus teaches kids the correct way to get on the bus, sit on the bus and how to respond to bus emergencies, Weller explained.

“Over the last year, drivers traveled 180,000 miles transporting our kids safely to and from school,” Haist said. “It’s time we’re able to make these kinds of updates.”

avatar

Posted by Catherine Sweeney

Leave a Reply