Buses will be back next week

With school starting back next week for the Pulaski County Special and North Little Rock school districts, it means that the buses are back as well.

And there’s lots of buses and lots of bus routes for each district.

Jessica Duff, a spokeswoman for PCSSD, said, there’s approximately 7,100 students in the roughly 12,000 student district who ride the bus.

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“We operate 133 route buses daily,” Duff said while the “average number of student riders per bus is 45.”

Dustin Barnes, a spokesman for the North Little Rock district said there’s “about 1,600 students” riding the bus out of the district’s enrollment count of roughly 9,000.

North Little Rock operates 40 buses daily, Barnes added with the average number of riders being 34.

Both districts also operate additional buses to transport students for “activities” and “athletes home from practice,” Duff added.

In PCSSD, Duff said, “bus drivers are district employees in the transportation department,” while in North Little Rock, it is a little bit more complicated, but not by much.

“We have employees who only drive buses,” Barnes said. “And we have some who have a primary role in the district who also drive a bus. We call them dual driver.”

An example of a dual driver would be a district employee who also serves as a campus supervisor, in-school suspension coordinator, teacher assistant, etc., Barnes said and noted they are paid hourly for the bus driving.

All bus drivers in each district get at least 25 hours of annual safety and skills training, with North Little Rock bus drivers getting an additional eight hours for a total of 33.

PCSSD bus routes

North Little Rock School District bus routes