Charlotte Magazine
Wheels Of Love Image Credit: Charlotte Magazine
Wheels Of Love Image Credit: Charlotte Magazine

Wheels Of Love

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools bus driver reflects on three decades of getting kids where they need to go

Virginia Brown

ON A SCORCHING SATURDAY on the west side in June, Linda Reid wraps her hands around a Styrofoam cup of sweet tea, her silver-gray bun stacked neatly atop her head, bold cruciFix dangling on her blue blouse. This week, she’s been cranking up bus 1753 and carting kids to a summer reading program at Tuckaseegee Road Elementary. Now 60, and a couple of years away from retirement, Linda has driven a bus for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for nearly 30 years. “I remember that day like it was today,” she says of her

First day, her speech slow and deliberate. It was August 1988 and the mother of four, including a newborn baby with disabilities, was splitting up with her husband. She needed work. “I was willing and determined to get a job,” she says. “I always loved children and loved working with children,” so a close friend suggested she look into driving a school bus. The long break between the morning and afternoon routes was ideal for her to take her son to his doctor’s appointments and run the household errands necessary for her to care for her other children. Driving hasn’t always been easy, she says. Each bus she’s driven has been different, some Finicky. A distracted driver once ran his car under her bus while she was on her route near the University area. Strict school security rules preclude drivers from accessing facilities—even to use the restroom—without checking in as a visitor, and that has


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