A great deal of information will need to be weighed when it comes to the future location of Hancock County's school buses.
During this week's school board meeting, some of the county's bus drivers approached the board with concerns about the possible centralization of the county's school buses.
Those in attendance feel a centralized bus garage would increase costs to the county - through increased travel time, increased wear and tear on the buses and increased fuel consumption - as well as create safety concerns as the buses would no longer be in Weirton in the event of an emergency situation.
While no one denied the idea has been discussed, Superintendent Suzan Smith did note no official recommendation has been presented and a final decision could still be some time away. Board members said they would keep the drivers' concerns in mind when it does become time to decide.
We understand the concerns of the bus drivers and others who would be affected by such a move; however, we also feel there could be some advantages, including a better flow of communication, streamlined operations and possibly even some cost savings when, or if, it is all said and done.
After all, Brooke County successfully has operated a centralized bus garage site for decades, so the possibility exists that it could work in Hancock County as well.
We must stress that, according to school officials, no decision has actually been made on this issue and other options could be looked at before the end of the current school year.
We encourage open lines of communication on this issue between the school board, bus drivers and other personnel, as well as Hancock County residents. Express your thoughts, learn about all the possible options and stay informed about when a decision could be made.