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New bus service catering to local charter and private school students

DANIEL ISLAND, SC (WCSC) -

A new school bus service is now catering to the needs of families across the Lowcountry. SchoolWheel Direct's state of the art buses are picking up kids from Summerville all the way to Dunes West, in Mount Pleasant, and taking them to and from their private and charter schools.

"My two boys, who are eight and 12, go to Christ Our King," said Stephen Becker, Mount Pleasant father.

Becker's kids go to their top school of choice, even if it is 45 minutes away in North Charleston. Becker said getting his kids to school can be difficult.

"It was a mess trying to get them all in one car, trying to get everybody to the bus stop on time for another bus company that failed miserably," said Becker.

This school year, his family decided to try the new SchoolWheel Direct. Two days into using it and Becker said he's already incredibly impressed with the service, especially it's promptness.

"Right now we are servicing Christ Our King, East Cooper Montessori Charter School, Palmetto Scholars Academy and Coastal Christian," said Robert Scholer, Director of Sales for SchoolWheel Direct.

Scholer says they customize routes and are already transporting nearly 300 students. Bus stops are in places like church parking lots and public parks. The company has five, brand new buses equipped with individual seat belts, air conditioning and much more.

"We have a complete camera system on board, which includes four cameras. So, we can see everything that's going on inside the school bus," said Scholer. "We have GPS, we're able to track the buses wherever they're going.

Parents have access to a smartphone app called SchoolWheel Safe Stop. It allows them see when the bus is making stops in real time.

"It's great for us when we go to the bus stop to pick them up in the afternoon, we don't have to sit there for 45 minute wondering when the bus is going to come in," said Becker.

Scholer said the bus service is costing parents about $7.50 cents a day, per student.

Scholer said their buses are not just a hit with parents, but the schools as well because of the traffic it cuts down on.

"They're thrilled because, obviously, at the schools the biggest headache for both the school and the parents are the car pool lines," said Scholer.

Scholer said their bus drivers must pass state and federal standards and also go through additional safety training and drug testing.

SchoolWheel Direct said they expect add more routes and buses. to transport students to more schools, throughout the school year.

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