School Bus Transportation and Covid-19 safety
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Parents are voicing some concerns about how children are being transported to school.
According to Laramie County School District one, limited capacity is one of the reasons children are riding 3 per bus seat to schools. Raising alarms about safety and social distancing in the midst of Covid-19.
LCSD1 follows the Federal Mandate put out by the CDC, which requires masking on public transportation, but school buses are designed to seat 3 students per bench.
Currently, mainstream buses have a 69 students capacity, with one bench for Covid-19 cleaning supplies limiting the previous 72 passenger capacity.
Bus drivers and transportation assistants are required to wear masks. Still, there is no Covid-19 testing or Vaccine policy for bus drivers per the School District Human Resource policies whenever students are aboard.
“It is difficult to social distance on a bus, especially given the number of students that we transport. But because they are in a mask, we’re not as concerned about that physical distance,” said Justin Budd, Assistant Programmer Administrator for Transportation- LCSD1.
Cleaning protocol has taken priority between servicing routes.
“In between those runs the drivers and transportation assistants will wipe down the common touch points in the bus, before the next students board. And then in between our am and pm run, we have a crew that places fogging machines in every bus, so it disinfects the entire bus,” said Budd.
LCSD1 transportation labor and driver shortages have meant putting fewer buses on the road to space students out more.
They have enough drivers to service their current capacity but have no substitute drivers for sick days or vacation times.
“We are facing a shortage of drivers, right now we really dont have any substitute drivers available to us, in fact, last week i actually drove a route myself. So we are facing some challenges in that respect,” said Budd.
LCSD1 transportation is currently taking driver applications and will provide training for applicants.
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