AMES–Bus systems and personnel are in place for the start of school on Monday, Aug. 24, to make sure Ames Community School District buses make it to and from schools safely and on time. Beyond completing its preparations for daily route service, the District’s transportation provider, Durham School Services, is providing additional staff and buses for the first weeks of school.

Chief Financial Officer Chris Stensland, who has oversight for District transportation services, said Durham is providing these school start-up services:

  • Providing site support for the first days of school from Durham Central Plains Regional Manager Ron Leimbach and Corporate Human Resources Director Greg Fitzgerald.
  • Hiring additional temporary workers to staff phone lines.
  • Starting the year with 40 bus routes—based on the peak number of routes needed last year — that are staffed with trained, local drivers.
  • Deploying additional “at large” buses to relieve overloaded buses or complete a route that is significantly delayed.

New bus notification system for parents and guardians

Durham is providing a new notification service, TextCaster, that allows parents and guardians of students who ride buses to opt in to receive text alerts about bus delays or route issues affecting their children.  A link to subscribe to TextCaster has been emailed to all parents and guardians whose students ride the bus.

Bus and traffic safety reminders

As we start the new school year, we remind everyone to be aware of children walking and biking to school as well as buses carrying students.

  • Obey the speed limit and watch for pedestrians and bicycles in school zones and pedestrian crossings.
  • Don’t pass a school bus that has its stop arm extended and lights flashing.
  • Allow extra travel time, keeping in mind that both Ames Community Schools and Iowa State University start classes Monday, Aug. 24, and street construction is still going on throughout the city.