ST. CLOUD -- This week in our “Behind the Scenes” series on WJON, we show you what it takes to plan a bus route so your child can get to school on time.

With school beginning on Tuesday students and bus drivers are gearing up for the first day.

Scott Dahlin is the District 742 Transportation Supervisor. He says they have been busy

since the start of the month planning the best way to pick up and drop off your child at school.

"Most of our school's have multiple buses going there so we're trying to make the bus routes as efficient as we can," says Dahlin.

District 742 provides transportation for over 9600 students, with 85 drivers responsible for getting them to school on time.

With that many students knowing where they live helps to plan the routes.

"Based on their address they will come up on our system and be plotted in a certain area depending on where they live," says Dahlin.

Each bus route is determined by color which allows Dahlin to know which bus works best for picking up students.

"So we can go into an area and bus routes down into neighborhoods and look where our buses are going and start attaching our kids to the proper bus," says Dahlin.

District 742 covers a 35 mile area from the Albany to Monticello/Becker lines. Dahlin says the department is in constant communications with the families outside the city limits.

"A lot of our stops we have to stop at because we have many students at those areas, but in the outlining area if we can save some miles and notice a family hasn't been pick up there in a while we will give them a call," says Dahlin.

Once the school year is underway Dahlin says they continually monitor their buses, drivers and students to make sure everyone stays safe.

"We will do a ride-along with our drivers and handle what we call parent concerns where we go back and watch video tapes and work with the bus drivers to resolve that issue," says Dahlin.

As the buses get ready to hit the streets it's a good reminder to brush up on your school bus safety.


School Buses for District 742 wait for the first day of school. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)