TUCSON, Ariz. — The in-school learning option began this week for Tuson Unified.
Martha Zamora, TUSD’s transportation director, said there are 80 buses are in rotation, compared to the nearly 230 that would be covering the routes within the district in years past.
“So I think over the last few months. It's definitely been embedded of this is, you know, the expectation and it's a sadly but slowly becoming the norm,” said Zamora.
Fourteen kids is the maximum capacity per bus, one per seat. Whereas before about 56 kids could fill up a bus, with two taking one seat.
“Every single student has to wear face mask. It only allows exceptions for the students where their IEP deems that the students should not wear a face mask. We do the disinfecting after every single one of our routes. The drivers take a disinfectant and they hit the high touch point areas after every single one of our routes” said Zamora.
And the drivers went through training all summer.
“They went through, you know, obviously the understanding of COVID. If they themselves feel any other symptoms that they obviously are not to come into work. So all of the COVID safety precautions that I guess a district is taking, they've all went through that training, and then the safety part of the cleaning the buses, too” said Zamora.
With the drop of buses in rotation, drop in bus capacity, and the employee training, Zamora said she is confident in her department.
“I think in the entire department. I think everyone's here for the right reasons. So I think everyone's doing their part to make sure that we all stay safe” said Zamora.
Despite the drop in buses en route, Zamora said the district is always in need of more bus drivers. Those interested can apply here.