It's the annual ritual that signals summer vacation is pretty much over.
More than 1,000 school buses will be on Tampa Bay area roads Wednesday morning and afternoon in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties even though public school classes do not begin until Thursday.
At last count, Hillsborough has 973 buses on the road, not including spares, and Pinellas 450.
The drivers take their buses out on trial runs for a number of reasons, district officials said.
The trips give new drivers, or transferred drivers, a chance to learn their routes. And they can make adjustments if conditions have changed because of construction projects or other issues.
Pinellas drivers performed practice runs on Tuesday as well, but without adhering as strictly to the schedules.
School begins Monday in Pasco and Hernando counties.