The Corpus Christi Independent School District now has mechanics and supervisors behind the wheels of its school buses because of a manpower shortage.
The district is still in need of nearly 20 drivers.
Meanwhile, a member of the district school board has called into question a bus stop located near a local topless club. It's one of the district's new stops, located at the Fox's Den at Booty and Staples.
Board member John Longoria questioned the location. His son rides that bus, and Longoria doesn't think school kids need to be picked up or dropped off near such a business.
"Those kids have been talked to, and they're going to get a better corner to catch the bus on," Longoria said.
"Currently, there's eight kids loading and unloading at that bus stop, so we give a two-day notice before we change or move a stop," Transportation Director Bill Rosenauer said.
That stop will be moved to the corner of Elizabeth and Brownlee, where Kiii News cameras spotted a woman making some kind of financial transaction with several men inside of a sport utility vehicle. There were also a lot of people at the corner, some of whom appeared to be drunk.
As far as manpower goes, Jose Garcia is getting ready to hit the streets solo for his very first time as a CCISD bus driver. He is one of only a handful of people that the district has been able to find in order to fill job openings in their transportation department. 16 drivers are still needed.
Garcia said he is retired from the military, and that he drove a truck for years. He believes that his experience made it easier for him to pass all the requirements to become a school bus driver.
"It's a six-step procedure, and once you pass one exam you got to take another one, and you keep going," Garcia said. "If you fail one three times, you have to start all over again, so it's mostly on memory, being familiar with the vehicle; and some of the individuals have never been familiar with this vehicle."
Garcia said he had to pass a background check and drug screening. Everything checked out, and he is now looking forward to many years of service behind the wheel of a school bus. The district is hoping others will follow his lead, because right now, mechanics and supervisors are doing the job instead of their own work.
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