MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Summer is officially over for kids in the Grand Strand. Wednesday they were off to school, and with the new school year comes new changes to the buses and bus routes.
Myrtle Beach school bus director James "Bubba" Lewis said between the elementary, middle and high school, 29 buses are in service. There's about ten to 12 stops per bus. While the Myrtle Beach area isn't the largest for buses to cover, he said to be patient as drivers familiarize with new routes. Routes take no more than 45 minutes usually, he said.
There's been a lot of route adjusting this year because of growth on the south end. With no new buses to add, strategic routing was a must this year. Lewis says to remind your kids listening will help the first few week if they want to get home on time.
"Their route might be 45 minutes but yet it takes us 20 minutes to get on the bus and get loaded and leave. So that adds their time on the bus in the afternoon which is an issue with the heat and everything. So we try to get them out on the road and get them home as quickly as possible," he said.
Lewis added if your child has special needs, you'll probably notice an improved bus schedule. The district office passed the responsibility of routing the special needs buses to the schools. Lewis said since the local bus directors know the routes better, routes will improve.
Another improvement is with the insides of the buses. Instead of a camera only placed above the drive, additional cameras have been added throughout the bus for a total of five cameras.
"Helps us keep track of students and what's going on the buses so if the administration needs to deal with it they have whatever they have to help deal with that," Lewis said about the decision to add the cameras.
Not only do the cameras help teachers and officials keep an eye on what happens on the bus, but they give peace of mind to the driver who can focus on what's the most important: a safe drive to and from school.