From the outside the school buses might not look significantly different from others already on the road but inside it's equipped with security cameras, air conditioning and wifi. Those are a few things not all Huntsville students who ride the bus have always had access to.
"Air condition buses have been proven to help with student conduct on the bus. The wifi on the bus, students who want to do their homework on the way home are able to do that. Anytime someone is on a new school bus, it just makes a different ride for them," said Scott Gillies, Transportation Coordinator for Huntsville City Schools.
Different is exactly what students will see in the brand new school buses rolling out in less than one month.
"Our goal is to run 160 buses per day, with 20 spare buses in the fleet. That's the approximate number we ended the school year with," added Gillies.
As part of the new bus service, parents also will be able to track their students bus in real time with a smart-phone app.
Apple Bus Company leaders say they hope the buses will be more than a just new ride to and from school.
"Tt's going to provide a calm experience for them. It's going to be more comfortable and they'll be able to focus on what we really need them to focus on and that's their education," said Stephanie Shaw, Director of Transit Operations with Apple Bus Company.
The General Manager for Apple Bus in Huntsville says with security as a top priority they have extended the time dedicated to maintenance everyday before the buses hit the road.
"Typically it's 7 to 15 minutes. We've extended that. We've given our drivers 20 minutes to do a really in depth pre-trip in the morning," said James Akins, General Manager for Apple Bus in Huntsville.
For each year the school keeps Apple Bus Services, the company will run a in depth report, which address areas of improvement and how to solve issues moving forward.
Apple bus Company operates in several other locations, including New Orleans, and Austin, Texas.
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