Plans are underway to try to avoid a repeat of the 2012-13 Wake County school bus fiasco.
As noted in today's article, Wake is looking to hire 104 additional bus drivers, add more buses on the road, offer bonuses to drivers and reorganize the transportation department to try to make things better for the more than 75,000 students who ride the bus.
“We don’t anticipate anything like last year,” Bob Snidemiller, Wake’s senior director of transportation, said in an interview Friday. “The assignments haven’t changed much. We just need to make sure we have enough bodies driving the buses.”
One interesting thing is that Wake may put 20 more buses on the road for this fall. At this same time last year, Wake was yanking 52 buses from service, only to put most of them back on the road following the complaints at the start of the school year.
Snidemiller said he won't know how many extra buses will be needed until closer to the start of traditional-calendar schools on Aug. 26 when those routes are finalized.
Wake has the routes up now for the year-round schools opening Monday. Click here to view them.
Snidemiller said the opening of Rolesville High School means potentially as many as 20 new routes. He said that as a first-tier school it's harder to adapt the school into existing routes.
Speaking of routes, the reorganization approved by the school board called for hiring new staff to take over central routing of bus routes.
Snidemiller said not all of the routing staff has been hired yet. He said that's not a problem as they're mostly keeping for this fall the routes that were used last school year.
In addition to providing consistency by keeping most of the 2012-13 routes, Snidemiller said it's also a reflection of how they're grandfathering transportation for the schools families picked last year under the choice plan.
Snidemiller said the new routing staff will audit the routes being used for 2013-14, which he said will make it easier to make adjustments for the 2014-15 school year.