LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Thousands of Jefferson County Public School students head back to school next week, and the district's transportation department is working to make sure everyone has a smooth ride to and from school.
Kevin Martin, a veteran bus driver with JCPS took a peak at his equipment Friday in preparation.
"We're going to look over the bus," he said. I'm looking for anything that might be loose, might be leaking or might be missing.
"We're going to continue down the side of the bus, make sure my stop arms are operating."
After a walk around, Martin hit the road on his route. Students won't be back until next week, so Friday's trip was a solo ride. But Martin said it is still important.
"Not only does it give us an opportunity to locate the stops during the daytime, but several of our runs are being compounded with additional street work," he said.
With the first day of school just around the corner, checking routes isn't the only issue. The head of the union that represents drivers said they are about 250 drivers short with 75 routes still uncovered.
JCPS transportation officials said those numbers are a little on the high side.
"Right now, as it stands, we have approximately 70 routes that do not have drivers," said Marcus Dobbs, executive administrator of transportation for JCPS.
Whether it's 70 or 75 uncovered routes, transportation officials said they'll get every student to and from school but could also use some help.
"If your child is on one of those uncovered runs or delayed buses, and you have the ability to drive them to and from school or to carpool in any way, we encourage you to do that," Dobbs said.
Martin said doesn't mind picking up a few extra stops.
"Last year, I sometimes would take another busload of kids with my kids," he said. "I'll do whatever I have to do. Whatever is asked from my coordinator."
The first day of school for JCPS is Aug.10.
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