Back to bussing to school
PICTOU WEST This morning, when your son or daughter is traveling to school by bus, you can be rest assured that precautions and maintenance have been done to ensure they’re safe.
You know it’s back to school time when those iconic yellow school busses roar down the road in the early morning hours.
But the task of keeping the busses well oiled and up to the highest safety standards falls to the staff of the West Pictou Bus Garage, located behind West Pictou Consolidated School.
According to foreman Paul Smith at the bus garage, maintenance and preparations for this school year started on June 1, 2013.
“Everything from the first aid kits and fire extinguishers to the fuel filters and undercarriage are examined and f burberry handbags ixed or upgraded, as needed,” said Smith.
There will be 12 new busses in the fleet this school year, including ten standard busses and two special needs busses.
One of the changes to the schoo burberry handbags l busses for this year includes making the vehicles diesel exhaust fl burberry handbags uid (DEF) compatible. DEF is an ammonia based solution used to clean exhaust and reduce emissions from diesel vehicles.
“DEF chemically reduces smog creating emissions, to near zero,” said Smith.
“Cleaner emission means trucks and buses run cleaner, which also improves their fuel economy.”
Over the past few days, bus drivers in the county descended upon the garage to receive their busses and bus routes, along with any additions or omissions to the list of stops.
Lori MacDonald, a bus driver with ten years of experience at River John Consolidated, West Pictou Consolidated and Pictou Academy, said it could be hard to get back into the routine.
“The hardest part is leaving the summer cottage,” said MacDonald with a laugh. “We all enjoy the summer, but once the routine is underway, it’s great getting the kids to school.”
Overtime, she has watched as students start in elementary school, grow, and then graduate from high school.
“It’s like watching your own kids graduate,” she said. “We’re the first school staff these kids see in the morning and the last they see when school’s done.”
MacDonald said that many of the graduating students feel the same connection with their bus drivers.
“Sometimes we get so many gifts you’d need a burberry handbags dump truck.”
There are a few busses in the garage now, but they are spares and needed only if something happens to the other busses.
“Drivers are briefed on any changes to evacuation plans and insurance coverage,” said Smith. “They’re well trained if anything comes up, such as an accidental spillage of fuel.”