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Racine Unified School District starts year with new buses and upgrade in technology

NOW: Racine Unified School District starts year with new buses and upgrade in technology

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RACINE COUNTY (CBS 58) -- The Racine Unified School District is starting the year with a fleet of brand new yellow school buses.

"We pick up about 9,000 students to 9,200 students that not only include the Unified School District, but we're also obligated to provide transportation to all of our private school students, as well," said John Strack, supervisor of enrollment and transportation at Racine Unified School District.

The buses, provided by First Student, feature some of the latest safety technologies, such as digital cameras and a GPS tracking system that provides location and speed.

There's also a system to ensure no children are left on the bus.

"The driver has to get out of his seat, walk to the back of the bus, and turn the alarm off," said Michael Comstock, First Student's senior location manager. "He looks in every seat, makes sure there's no children sitting or sleeping underneath the seats. Then he has to hit the alarm to turn the alarm off."

Children and parents, including Linda Gissell and her grandson Oden, checked out the buses during the Safety Dog Bus Tour, which made a stop at the Unified District office. "He was very excited to see all the buses, he wanted to know if he was gonna have the same bus driver."

Those at the District say drivers on the road should be patient at the beginning of the school year.

"Those first days of school are gonna be a little chaotic," Strack said. "The buses may run a little behind, but that's normally part of the process the first couple of days."



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