When I was a kid, my tiny school system of three towns in Minnesota’s extremely windy Todd Bouman homeland beautiful southwestern corner had — and this is a generous estimate — about six bus routes. Day after day, those yellow beasts would scoop up young RTR Knights dotted across the countryside and shuttle them, shuttle us, to school.
“It was a simple time,” I just said to myself while wistfully staring out the window.
What’s not so simple is keeping track of around 400 bus routes that shuttle 25,000 students every day. Stacked end to end, 400 buses would stretch nearly three times the length of my hometown. And 25,000 students? Trying to cram that many kids into my old gym would undoubtedly cause more damage to the floor than the time our conference rivals poured hog manure on it (which remains the most Southwestern-Minnesota vandalism act in history).
But 400 bus routes and 25,000 students are exactly what Minnesota Public Schools (MPS) handles every school day.