Starting Monday, August 28, Beach Transportation will begin its 77th year of service picking up and dropping off over 4,000 students to school every day.

Beach General manager Robert 'Mitch' Mitchell said his drivers will be serving 103 different routes transporting kids to and from school.

All this week, KGVO will be airing part of a wide-ranging interview with Mitch about safety, both on and off the school bus.

Mitch said the kids start taking the school bus at a very young age, would you believe three years old?

"In Missoula Public Schools we now have a pre-school program, and we're taking kids as young as three or four years old," he said. "On our full-size school bus route, we also have a full contingency of kindergarten students."

Mitch said each school bus operates on 10 rules, and five apply before a child even enters the vehicle.

"On the first day, we ask that the kids are at least five minutes early to the bus stop," he said. "We don't want children to be chasing a school bus, that's very unsafe. Have all your stuff in your backpack, The bus will come to a complete stop, and when it does the driver will open the door, and that will activate the red lights which will get the people in town to stop ad wait for those kids to load the bus."

School starts on Monday the 28th, and Mitchell is asking Missoula area drivers to be ready to drive with safety in mind.

"If we could just get the community to understand that kids are walking to school bus stops and walking to and from school, so when you see the yellow flashing lights of a school bus, that means that the bus is about to stop," he said "We're asking everyone to stop and wait for those kids to load. Remember, when those lights are red the bus will stop, and when the doors open remember, you just cannot pass that school bus. because you'll be breaking the law at that point."

Get school bus schedules on your child's school website.

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