No-fuss bus riding: Tips from our Transportation Department

We have received feedback that families would like better and faster communication about bus routes and the occasional delay. We hear you, and appreciate the chance to improve. We are in the process of upgrading our routing software to enhance performance and adding new features. 


group of bus drivers in front of a bus waving hello

Here are some ways you can prepare for the school year and partner with us to support your bus rider’s’ experience:

  • Get registered. To ride a bus to school, a student must be registered with the Transportation Department for the current school year. By registering, you are agreeing to be bound by our Bus Rider Infraction Policy. You will need to request transportation for each student in your household separately.

  • Know your call numbers. Each of our buses has a set of two letters and a number printed on the side of the vehicle in red. The first two letters indicate an area (FM = Florida Mesa; DW= Durango West, for example). Please keep your number(s)  handy – perhaps on your mobile phone. Younger students should keep the call number in their backpacks. Some students ride two buses: Know both of the numbers. If you don’t know your child’s bus call numbers, route, or pick-up/drop-off times, please email the Transportation Department at [email protected]

  • Expect some delays. You can help keep buses running on schedule by being at the bus stop at least five minutes earlier than the listed pick-up time. Traffic, weather, construction, and other unforeseen events may make the buses run late. If we anticipate a delay of longer than 15 minutes, families will receive a message that indicates which bus route – listed by call number – has been affected. The message will come by text, voicemail, and email, in both English and Spanish.

  • Remember Early Release. Keep in mind that Monday is Early Release day for all schools, which means buses will pick up students one hour earlier than the rest of the week.

  • Pick up lost items: Any items your student leaves on the bus will be delivered to the Lost and Found area at your student’s school.

  • Kindness is key! Bus drivers are committed to keeping your children safe and getting them where they need to be on time. Thank you for being patient, flexible, and friendly with our drivers. 
Bus driver in set with door open

There are 20 bus routes covering 1,000 square miles in Durango School District 9-R. Approximately 1,700 students are registered to ride our buses, out of approximately 4,700 students in the district. The routes cover all the way from Purgatory to the New Mexico state line. The district operates 23 bus routes, 3 of which are Special Education routes. Most of our routes serve rural areas and outlying subdivisions. 

buses lined up waiting for students

Our fleet of vehicles consists of 1 electric bus, 37 large buses, 7 mini buses, 12 trucks and maintenance vehicles, plus 3 SUVs. 3 of our large buses are reserved for out of town trips and 9 are spares that are used when route buses are being repaired or serviced. During an average school year, our buses log approximately 400,000 route miles and 135,000 activity miles. In addition to the Colorado Department of Education-mandated annual inspection, each of our buses undergoes a monthly maintenance service.

In August, new drivers complete 35 to 40 hours of preliminary training and must pass a CDL test before they can drive with students. All drivers must also complete a CDE first-aid certification every two years. Drivers are governed by the CDE and Commercial Drivers License Rules and Regulations.

Interested in becoming a bus driver? We’re hiring!