Districts Adjust School Bus Commute Times

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 10:50am

LA JOYA - Hector Cantu has been driving a bus for almost a quarter of a century. But after all those years, he said the job and commute times are still the same.

"Oh just a little bit, they've changed just a little bit," said Hector Cantu, La Joya ISD Bus Driver.

It's only the third week, and already Cantu knows each student by their first name. He's been driving long enough to know most of his kid's parents.

"Yes, yes, I am proud to say that, this is my third generation since I have been here since 1989, and I like the job," said Cantu.

Ready to take off at 5:30 a.m.. every morning, Cantu prepares his bus to drive his several routes. 

 "I have three trips, the first one is middle school, and then the second is elementary. And the third one, it's the last one, it's high school," said Cantu.

Three trips that all must be completed by 7:30 a.m.., but having more than one route is actually normal for bus drivers.

"About 80 to 90 percent have about three to four routes," said Alfredo Salinas, La Joya ISD Transportation Supervisor.

With over 20,000 students to take to school and over a 200 mile radius to cover, it's surprising to find out, bus commute times are still relatively the same year to year.

The average commute time per student is about 15 to 20 minutes. And that time has actually gone down from previous years by about 5 minutes. The reason why is because of re-zoning and a new bus route system for elementary students.

News Center 23 Reporter Erin Murray explains.

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