MADISON, Ala. - Madison students will go back to class Thursday morning and many will be riding a bus to get to school.
Over the holiday break, bus drivers and mechanics for the district met to discuss how they will prepare those buses for the extremely cold temperatures in the coming days.
More than 80 buses will leave the Madison Transportation Depot Thursday morning to pick up students.
When there are below freezing temperatures, it takes extra time and effort to get buses where they need to go.
"We'll come in a day or two early and we usually start every single bus and we'll turn on all the lights, the heater, we'll make sure everything is mechanically sound with that bus so that it can go out on its route," said shop mechanic, Jimmy Perdue.
About half of the Madison City Schools student population, that's around 5,000 students, rely on buses to get them to and from school.
Shop mechanic, Jimmy Perdue, says their number one priority is to do so -- safely -- while keeping students warm.
"It takes all of us to make it work," said Perdue. "It starts with the parents and keeping the kids warm, to us showing up a few minutes early to start the buses -- the drivers coming in a little early to make sure their buses have heat and doing their pre-check...it takes everybody."
Madison bus drivers will drive more than 700,000 miles over the school year, making maintenance a year-round priority -- winter or summer.