Epiphany Catholic School welcomed its first buses to the parish during a ceremony Aug. 30.
Father Kevin Walsh, pastor of Precious Blood Catholic Church, blessed the two new buses - which transport 28 kids to and from school.
“It’s great because we’ve never had buses like this before to pick up and drop off the kids,” Walsh said. “We’re very happy and blessed we were able to buy these two buses this year.”
While Epiphany Catholic School has students from Culpeper, Fauquier, Rappahannock and Madison counties, the buses right now only cover Culpeper County.
The longest route is 45 minutes and the routes were designed by Epiphany Catholic School business manager Mary Leslie. Since the buses are not designated school buses, she designed the route so the buses will stop in a student’s driveway or at the curb.
“We were trying to make sure kids wouldn’t have to cross the street,” Walsh said.
Leslie said they have a waiting list of six children and Walsh said they would like to fundraise and hopefully buy another bus next year.
The two original buses cost just over $50,000 each, he said.
Leslie said parents have to pay for students to ride the bus, but that a 50 percent discount is given for more than one student from a family.
“Our biggest priority was given to students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to get to school,” Leslie said. “We tried to make it affordable.”
The routes run as far as Carrico Mills Road in the east and Stone Mountain Road to the west.
Epiphany Catholic School has 172 students enrolled from pre-K through eighth grade.