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Big changes to bus routes when students in Colbert County go back to school.
WAAY 31 has learned the school system consolidated six bus routes, and that's set to save them nearly $100,000.
Here's a look at where those routes were consolidated. One in New Bethel, two in Leighton, two in Colbert Heights, and one in Cherokee.
For the students on the six consolidated routes, they will spend about 10 more minutes on their bus rides compared to last year.
"I called in my bus drivers and we worked it out all together," Colbert County schools transportation supervisor Aubrey Kimbrough tells us they had five bus drivers retire and three resign. That's why school officials made the call to consolidate six bus routes. "Every area was affected except Hatton Elementary School."
Kimbrough said students will stay on their bus rides for about 10 minutes longer after they went from 41 bus routes to 35.
But that's not the only change. Transportation officials also made changes to which routes bus drivers receive. "They may can see a different person on a different route because we did have to change some routes and get the times more equal."
Even with the extra students on board, Kimbrough says buses wont' be overcrowded, and adds each bus can carry up to 72 people.
With two little ones soon to be in school, Anyssa Gonzales tells us she thinks consolidating the routes is a good idea because it saves money for the school system. "They could use that money for more school supplies and anythign that they need for the schools."
Kimbrough told us they are looking to hire two new bus drivers for the future.
Students in the Colbert County school district will head back to class next Wednesday.
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