Bus Company Prepares for Uncertain Fall
First Student bus company, with operations in Champlin and Brooklyn Park, is preparing drivers and its bus fleet to meet the needs of three different scenarios, much like school districts are.
“Option 1 is that everyone goes back to school like usual,” said Jenifer Doyle of First Student. “Option 2 is that hybrid program where sometimes they’re distant and sometimes they’re in school. Then option 3 is just purely distance learning.”
By next week First Student should have a better idea of what Minnesota’s school game plan is. Once the company gets a blueprint, it will prepare accordingly.
“We can guarantee that we will provide the safest transportation available,” Doyle said.
Bus Company Will Prioritize Cleaning
Doyle says one thing is certain – capacity and physical distancing guidelines will definitely change for bus companies.
“You’ll probably notice that children are more spread throughout the vehicle,” Doyle said. “Probably less students on each route.”
Keeping buses clean and sanitary is a priority for First Student as they try to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We have cleaning and sterilization for all of our high-touch, high-traffic areas,” Doyle said.
Even if Minnesota opts for another year of distance learning and kids are taking classes from home, First Student will still have buses on the road. There are other roles that drivers will play.
“We provide transportation for care for essential workers,” Doyle said. “We deliver school supplies for those who are distance learning, we also deliver lunches all across the cities, all across the metro.”
Currently First Student has a shortage of drivers. The company needs more than 100 for the upcoming school year. Anyone hired will be paid a minimum of $18 an hour and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus. There is a job fair next week in Brooklyn Park. Fore more information go to firststudentinc.com.