By Mike Shope, Transportation Director and Robert Kilmer, District Transportation
For more than half a century the Morgan School district bus facility has been located on State Street between Larry’s Spring Chicken Inn and Steph’s Drive-in. Before dawn each morning, you see the parking lot full of buses warming up and getting ready for a day of transporting students. There is a precession of buses leaving in every direction alerting citizens that school will soon be in session.
Soon the parking lot will be empty and the bays will no longer house busses. Morgan County School district has decided to relocate the Bus Maintenance facility to a new site next to the Morgan County Fairgrounds. This new facility will be up-to-date and provide the mechanics the necessary facility to complete most of our maintenance needs “in-house” without the need to subcontract to expensive shops on the Wasatch Front. By keeping our major repairs in Morgan we can ensure that the busses are safe and back on the road as soon as possible.
Another advantage of the new site of the transportation facility is the way the traffic burdens will be lightened on State Street. Busses heading to Mountain Green, Peterson, and Croydon will be able to pull right onto the Interstate 84 or Old Highway road and avoid the center of town.
Morgan City is reviewing the possibility of building a bridge across the Weber River on the east end of Young street that would allow busses to enter and exit without tying up traffic at the corner of 200 East Young street. If you have ever tried to come to the elementary school around 8:45 am you would understand the gravity of that situation.
As always we appreciate the parents and their willingness to work with us as we struggle with the growth of the county and the process of ensuring safe delivery of students to and from school. One such situation manifested itself as the school year started and it was soon evident that Mountain Green would need additional bus routes. As the logistics were worked out confusion ensued and some students were unsure of which bus they should ride. With high school students this is not a real issue; however, with elementary students you may have some major trauma associated with a missed bus or drop off at a wrong stop. We are always working to eliminate this possibility and again appreciate the patience of the community as we deal with growing pains in the transportation department.
With the onset of winter and as the roads become hazardous we would like to remind citizens to please pay close attention to the students and busses. Watch out for students as they get on and off of the busses. With the icy roads it is very difficult for anyone to get out of the way of oncoming cars. The busses are equipped with flashing lights and stop signs to remind drivers of the need to slow down and stop. While these should always be deployed when a bus is stopped and in the process of loading or unloading students mechanical failures could happen and we ask that drivers always approach a slowing or stopped bus with caution.
Mike would like to express his sincere appreciation to the community, staff and especially the bus drivers for their support and assistance while Ray Giles the current mechanic has been recovering from a serious illness. Mike appreciates the way the transportation team has rallied together to help. The job of bus driver is demanding enough with certification classes, daily check lists, anxious students, and crazy hours. The fact that the drivers then were willing to accept additional tasks shows the dedication of our drivers. It truly shows what a great family we have here in the transportation department. Ray has asked that we thank those people that have come to see him and tell them that their visits have lifted his spirits.