Wheels on the bus go 'round, even in summer

Published 8:28 am Monday, June 27, 2005

By By JULIE RUSSELL- The Brewton Standard
The wheels of the bus go round and round. But where do those wheels go during the summer?
Lynn Smith, superintendent of the Brewton City Board of Education, explained that school buses are still in use over the three hot months that kids aren't in school.
Students attending a summer enrichment program are transported from the school to the YMCA for recreational activities. The buses also take these students on field trips to educational places like Turtle Point Environmental Center.
The buses stay busy taking cheerleaders, football players and basketball players to sports camps, usually located in Tuscaloosa.
Smith explained that "it certainly slows down for buses during the course of the summer."
The Escambia County School System also provides a limited amoutn of student transportation during the summer months.
However, this little bit of down time (70-something buses run during the school year; 18 are used during the summer) provides the busiest time for mechanics who must ensure the buses are running smoothly.
Billy Hines, administrative assistant and transportation specialist for the Escambia County Board of Education, said that the summer provides a small "window of opportunity to get all the work done."
Hines estimated that two truckloads of brakes have been replaced already this summer, with each brake job taking a day to complete.
Transportation Supervisor Larry Davis said, although buses are inspected and fueled every day of the year, he's grateful for the summertime to get some extra work done.
Once a year, the buses are inspected by the state, and for the past five years in a row, the Escambia County School system's buses have been in the top 10 percent of all bus inspections in the state.

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