Bus line to help out in community

Ken Kellar

As one local bus line shifts into gear to get kids to and from school, they’ve also made a commitment to help out in the community as well.

First Student Bus Line manager Tracy Mose said one of the things she’s excited for as the school year ramps up is the increased presence she hopes the business will have in and around Fort Frances.

“I’m looking forward to the community involvement,” she said.

“That’s one thing that I really want to do. I want to know what the community to know that we’re here. And we have reliable gas-powered buses not diesel, so they don’t stink.”

One new addition to the fleet–so new it hadn’t arrived at the yard when she discussed it–is a white activity bus Mose said will be put into service for community members with transportation needs.

“It’s similar to a coach bus but it’s a white activity bus and that will be beneficial to the area,” Mose said.

“We would be able to take bowlers, we would be able to take curling club people, we would be able to take local businesses that want to go from A to B. Instead of renting a school bus you can rent the white activity bus.”

Mose explained that the activity bus is similar to one of the regular buses in their fleet, but has a number of changes that make it more suitable for charter purposes.

“It has the coach seats, but it’s white,” she said.

“It doesn’t have the tinted windows like the school buses, but it has the comfortable coach sets, air conditioning, stereo. That’ll be very nice to have in this district because it’s needed.”

Mose said she envisions the bus being used by seniors in the area to bring them to different events and activities, and noted that the bus seats are wider than those on the school bus, which makes them more comfortable for seniors as well.

One other way the bus line plans to be active in the community is during the Christmas season.

“Iron Range had done the Christmas lights and Parade of Lights and they only did one bus,” she explained.

“I have access to 16, so when I spoke with Debbie Collett, who organizes a lot of this and helped me with it, we have quite the list. We are including everybody. We are going to do Aspen House, Rainycrest, Rose and Green Manor, Shevlin Towers, Columbus Place. Every one of my drivers are so community-oriented that they’re willing to do this too.”

The bus line can also accommodate events that take place during the off-season as well, as Mose noted that her buses can also be rented for weddings.

“We’ve actually done a couple already this summer,” she said.

“So that was really nice. One of my drivers actually decorated the entire bus. He really enjoyed it. He decorated the whole bus and shocked them. He put the little streamers, the whole nine yards. He did a very good job,” she added.

Mose said that the bus line is committed to the community and wants to ensure that they’re there to help whenever they can.

“We want them to know that we’re here to help, to do what we can, to make things easier for everybody,” she said.

“Everybody deserves to get out of the house and everybody deserves to get out and do something, so if they want to join in the parade and ride on the school bus and wave to people, hey go for it, where do you want us to pick you up?”