Miami-Dade bus drivers go on test run in preparation for upcoming school year

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A week before the 2016-2017 school year begins, Miami-Dade school bus drivers are getting ready and going on test routes to ensure they are prepared to the first day of school.

Over 1,000 busses will hit the road, transporting nearly 55,000 students to and from school and the drivers want to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible.

The men and women behind the wheels took part in a dry run to ensure they knew their routes thoroughly. “What is their first stop? What is their last stop?” said school bus instructor Maxime Dias.

New bus drivers also received an education in safety, and with 975 routes, there is no such thing as over-preparation. “We treat every kid like they’re our own kids, so to drive them safe is our number one priority,” Dias said.

Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho was on hand at the Southwest Miami-Dade Transportation garage, where more than 400 buses received GPS. District personnel can now monitor 852 busses in the county. “Anywhere the bus goes, we will be able to track the bus,” said one woman.

A new program expanded so that some magnet students who don’t live in the transportation service area will have access to transportation. Their pick-up points will be near school or parks. “[This] affords them the opportunity, if they live in the inner city or Homestead, to actually be transported to these schools,” Carvalho said.

The district is asking parents to remind their children about proper bus behavior, and the superintendent is also encouraging the public to chime in on how the bus drivers are doing.

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