Lots of Reasons to 'Love the Bus'

Ride-a-long Highlights Outstanding Drivers, Transportation Staff

Article Date: Feb 16, 2022

Dr. Cook Rides the Bus from Bend-La Pine Schools on Vimeo.

February is Love the Bus month and to show our support for our outstanding Transportation staff members, I spent the morning learning more about what it’s like driving one of our school buses.

The day starts early! At 6:10 a.m., I joined driver Kent on his morning safety check of the bus. Drivers spend the first 20 minutes of the day checking lighting, brakes, oil and more to ensure that the vehicle is ready to go.

The day started under a beautiful full moon above the mountains! Kent says seeing the beautiful scenery each morning is a highlight … although his favorite part of the job is connecting with students on his routes.

First up, we picked up elementary students headed to Elk Meadow Elementary School. The bus was full of lively energy (or was it candy from Valentine’s Day?).

Next I hitched a ride with driver Gina to pick up high school students headed to Caldera High School. Gina has been driving for six years, her mom was also a driver for Bend-La Pine Schools. Pretty cool!

High schoolers are quieter Gina explained, but she makes a point to greet each one and says, “I’m getting through to them! They are starting to say good morning back.”

After dropping the Caldera students, we were off on the last run of the day, a full bus headed to Cascade Middle School. Driver Matt says he loves his job because he finds it relaxing. When Matt isn’t driving, he can often be found in his wood workshop, making dollhouses and other cool projects.

I loved getting to spend the morning with our drivers and students to get a better appreciation for all our drivers do. They drive 77 routes in Bend, La Pine and Sunriver, transporting more than 3,800 students every day.

Please join me in sharing some love for our bus drivers and all of our transportation staff members.