State Patrol truckApril 29th - May 2nd, 2019 marked the Ephrata School District Transportation Department’s annual Summer Safety Inspections. The Washington State Patrol Commercial Vehicle Inspection Division conducted an assessment of the Department’s 34 buses and 14 support vehicles, along with 6 buses and 1 support vehicle from the Soap Lake School District. In total, 55 vehicles were inspected during the four days WSP was on-site.

School Bus on liftThe continued goal for our Department is to maintain a high level of mechanical safety in the vehicles that are transporting our students and staff.  During these inspections, each vehicle was placed “under the microscope” by the team of inspectors as they performed rigorous tests of the steering, suspension and braking systems. They also carried out safety checks in the cab interiors and passenger compartments. If any issues were to be noted, the inspectors have the authority to place the vehicle out-of-service until repaired.

It was a long week for everyone in the shop, but the results were well worth it! Each of Ephrata’s support vehicles passed inspection, 33 out of 34 Ephrata buses passed inspection (1 bus had a suspension issue and remains out-of-service pending repairs), and every one of Soap Lake’s buses and their support vehicle passed inspection. State Patrol inspection

Ephrata operates 23 bus routes, transports approximately 950 students each day and traveled just under 300,000 miles last year. Our Transportation Department employs two mechanics. Our lead mechanic, Ed has over 25 years of experience maintaining our fleet. Jim is finishing his third year with us turning wrenches in addition to driving his daily bus route. We also utilize an additional 7 substitute drivers, 5 bus monitors, 2 dispatchers who double as secretaries and can drive when needed, a driver trainer and a supervisor. Two vehicles in shop

We would like to extend a huge thank you to our WSP Inspectors, Steve and Bill. Their diligence and attention to detail compels us to set the bar higher every year. We would also like to express our gratitude to our drivers and bus monitors who continue to strive every day to make their buses an encouraging place for our kids. Likewise, we are deeply grateful for our two mechanics. Their dedication to their craft has made our vehicles the safest in the State.

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