The first day of school is almost here for students in the Vail School district. Doors open again July 17th. The districts bus system is ready to bring kids to school, cool, comfortable and safe.

Ryan Martinez knows when hes caring for Vail buses, hes really caring for Vail school kids.

We go through our inspections and we want to make sure that they’re safe. Vehicles, the buses are safe, and they’re essentially cool for the kids.

Vail is proud that almost all of its buses are air conditioned. Not all districts can say that. The district says the AC is especially important because it has more long routes than many other districts with buses bringing in students from as far as Benson or Sonoita.

The districts website says drivers and buses cover over 8,200 miles a day.

Transportation director Jerry Brown says, We’ve taken the steps of making sure we have certified mechanics who understand the AC systems on a bus that have the equipment to make the repairs, the knowledge, the supplies, whatever they need. To repair or replace. These are repairs into these AC units. We make sure that that’s in place.

Transportation director Jerry Brown says district mechanics were not always able to repair the air conditioning units. He says bus ACs are so different from car units when air conditioning broke Vail used to have to send the buses to specialized repair shops where they might sit for a month or two.

That put a strain on the rest of the fleet and forced the district to roll out reserve buses without air conditioning. Now with Vail mechanics doing their own AC repairs buses can be back on the road much sooner.

While some districts are always looking for bus drivers, Vail is proud to stay it has the drivers it needsand filled its staff by appealing to people who enjoy a sense of service beyond simply collecting a paycheck.