CMS buses hit the road this week for test runs ahead of new school year

CHARLOTTE — In less than a week, students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will get back to boarding the bus each day.

Before then, Adam Johnson, director of transportation for CMS, is making sure they’re safe to ride. That continued on Tuesday with a test run for the buses and their drivers.

“We do this every year,” he said. “This is an opportunity for our drivers to get out and familiarize their routes for the upcoming school year.”

Channel 9′s Almiya White rode along for one of the test runs.

“We’re looking at road closures, detours, stop locations that they might think is unsafe for students, so we can address those this week,” Johnson said.

CMS said the buses will be on the road for the remainder of the week as the practice continues.

In addition to preparing the routes, CMS is also still looking to recruit more drivers.

Last year at this time, the district had 80 bus driver vacancies. Right now, Johnson said 45 positions remain open.

Until the spots are filled, CMS will adapt to ensure every student gets to school.

“We all pull together. We’re doing things differently. We’re doing other jobs that we may not be used to doing,” Johnson said. “Yours truly will be out there rolling this year.”

Johnson also told Channel 9 that all of the district’s school buses are up to date with any recalls.

In May, Channel 9 reported on a CMS bus that crashed on the way to South Mecklenburg High School resulting in 14 students and the bus driver being hurt.

Shortly after the crash, we found out the bus was one of more than 100 with an outstanding recall, because the seats did not meet federal standards. At the time, 92 of the buses still needed repairs.

(WATCH BELOW: CMS leaders discuss preparations for first day of school)

Almiya White

Almiya White, wsoctv.com

Almiya White is a reporter for WSOC-TV