By Kyle Roberts
Lincoln Parish schools have been back in session for over a week now, and students that are bussed to schools within the city limits of Ruston have now utilized the new bus stops for transport as opposed to house-to-house pickup across the board.
“We’ve done really well in the first week,” Lincoln Parish School Board transportation supervisor Doc Hoefler said. “It has all run smoother than I thought. Of course, we’ve had a few hiccups, but we’ve been able to address nearly every issue that has come up to this point.”
Hoefler said that most of the snags to the new routes at this point is the simple logistics of making sure that all families know about the new bus stops as opposed to house-by-house pickups.
Safety remains a priority, said Hoefler, with the school board addressing legitimate concerns by parents as quickly as possible.
“In one instance, there was a student who was the only person assigned to a particular bus stop,” Hoefler said. “And the parents were not comfortable with their student being the only one there. They would not have minded if there were multiple kids at the same bus, so we worked together to offer a solution to that particular route.”
One of the top reasons for creating the new bus stops was to cut down on time that kids were riding on the bus on any given day. Hoefler said that from conversations with his drivers that this is already happening.
“The routes have allowed our drivers to not have to sit for long periods of time during switches at the schools,” Hoefler said. “That’s where the kids used to get restless waiting, because the drivers did not want to be late so that aired on the side of being early.
“That’s where I’ve seen the biggest difference, in our ability to control most of that time.”