Local schools look to answer transportation questions ahead of the school year

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) How students get to school has become a big question in the era of COVID-19. Some families are choosing to drive their students to school but buses will still run for families who can’t do that.

The first day of school for the Wilkes-Barre Area School District is set for September 10 and while that may still seem far away, school bus companies are busy preparing to get students to and from school. This comes as families in the district were given three options this fall, one of them allowing students to be in the classroom five days a week.

Student Transportation of America in Wilkes-Barre provides bus services for the school district as well as nearby private schools.

Families planning on using district transportation need to keep in mind the school bus will look a little different this year.

“We’ll have less than 48 students per bus,” Amanda Angeli, an employee for Student Transportation of America told Eyewitness News. “Before and after the runs the buses will wiped down in highly touched areas.”

Students and bus drivers will be required to wear masks at all times. The windows will be down on the bus, weather permitting and drivers will take health screenings twice a day.

“Every morning and every afternoon before their run they will have to have their temperature taken,” Angeli said.

The Wilkes-Barre Area School District says seats on the buses will be assigned with a maximum of two students per seat. Family members will be expected to share seats.

Meanwhile, the need for school bus drivers remains high during the pandemic.

“Everybody is going to be looking for bus drivers at this point because some of the older drivers they are going to be nervous to come back to work. Everybody is going to be looking for bus drivers,” Angeli said.

The Wilkes-Barre Area School District is still finalizing just how many students will be riding school buses this year but they are expecting that number to be fairly low.

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