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The bus stops right here — for Mon County Colleges

Tony Harris went into Thanksgiving break a cheerful man.

Harris, who directs transportation companies for Monongalia County Colleges, instructed Board of Schooling members final week earlier than the vacation recess that the enterprise of getting college students to and from their buildings for the day is as a easy as will be proper now.

Which is saying rather a lot, he couldn’t assist including, on condition that his drivers went intothis fall with an entire overhaul of bus routes.

The transportation division undertook that change final spring on the course of Superintendent Eddie Campbell Jr., who wished continuity on bus routes for the varsity day.

His motivation was ensuring college students had been picked up dropped off every day by the identical driver.

“Our bus drivers are a few of the most vital of us in our system as a result of they’re the primary folks to greet our children within the morning and so they’re the final that say goodbye to our children within the afternoon,” the superintendent stated then.

“And a number of these drivers could make or break a child’s day.”

That’s how Harris got here up driving a faculty bus – which he did for 20 years in neighboring Preston County, earlier than transferring into administration in Mon.

By the point he was executed, he was transporting the youngsters of the youngsters who rode his bus to highschool.

Mon’s drivers at the moment are experiencing the identical, which hadn’t been the case within the current years, Harris stated.

Such continuity all the time makes for a easy experience, the director added.

“They’re seeing the identical youngsters morning and afternoon,” he stated.

“It lowers disciplinary points you could have.”

Whereas Mon County runs from the transportation gamut from urban-styled gridlock to slim mountainous roads, the brand new system of routes even has a built-in contingency for a county, that in contrast to a few of its neighbors, is definitely experiencing  folks transferring in.

As in households transferring in, with school-aged kids in the home.

“We’re averaging, I might say, most likely at 85% capability on our buses,” Harris reported to the board. “That’s the place I would like them to be, as a result of it permits for development within the areas the place the buses are operating.”

Now, he’s hoping for an inflow of individuals behind the wheel.

His division simply began a coaching session for these is likely to be .

That first session final week confirmed promise, he stated.

“We had 10 candidates,” Harris stated, “and all 10 confirmed up for the coaching.”