Practice runs help school bus drivers get ready

You'll be seeing a familiar vehicle back on the roads in Quincy next week, if you haven't already.

As teachers prep their classrooms, school bus drivers are busy checking their routes for the first day of school.

On Friday, those bus drivers made a dry run of the routes they'll be running throughout the school year.

Michelle Stone has been behind the wheel of a Quincy Public School bus for the last two years.

She said she looks forward to seeing the school year get underway and a practice run a few days before always helps.

"And number one, it really helps community awareness to see the buses back out on the road again," Stone said.

Stone and many of her fellow drivers spent the morning running routes, getting themselves familiar with bus stops and the timing of their routes. Prepping themselves on what to expect on Wednesday.

"It also helps us identify any road hazards that may have popped up over the summer. Even something simple like the over growth of trees," Stone said.

Shane Barnes is the school districts director of transportation, he said the district runs 75 buses a day on routes in the morning and the afternoon. That means about 300 routes a day for the district.

After the Friday practice runs, there's some discussion and that could mean some changes on the routes for the upcoming school year.

"Because those change a little bit throughout the year, each summer. And we like to see those and get those organized. Plus the route drivers have some change and to know who they get behind and have all those bugs worked out before we have kids on board," Barnes said.

Stone also said the practice they had also serves as a reminder for drivers who haven't seen the fleet of buses running throughout the summer. That they need to be watching for the school buses for the rest of the school year.

If you approach a school bus with its stop arm out on a four lane street or highway and it does NOT have a median, you are required to stop.

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