Do you often ride the bus after school? Do you dislike it when the bus is late, or the crowds are insane? Have you ever felt uncomfortable on or waiting for the bus? Or are you contributing to the unsafe behaviour?
I’m sure that by now, many of you have heard of or experienced taking the bus after school. What would normally be a simple task has unfortunately become difficult, maybe even dreaded. I asked a few students some questions to clarify what exactly the biggest issues are on the bus and what would improve their bus ride home. A common problem seems to be that the bus way too crowded. That is what causes people to shove each other and act rudely around the bus. But how can we resolve this issue?
First, we can start with being civil and respectful of each other’s personal space. Teachers and transit are trying to help, but the real change starts with the student body. For example, people smoking or vaping around the bus stop seems to be an obvious source of discomfort.
“I personally think they are being irresponsible to themselves,” a student shared to me. Bottom line? Refrain from smoking or vaping on or when waiting for the bus, as it makes people around you feel uncomfortable. It only causes more problems and makes your peers annoyed.
Mr. Clerkson has stated that no vaping is tolerated around the bus stop (students shouldn’t even have vapes on them as they aren’t allowed on school property). No pushing, shoving, or inappropriate language is allowed either. Students should line up and wait for the bus without budging to the front of the line. Mr. Clerkson would like students taking the bus to remember that they are representing the school and community, therefore they shouldn’t disrupt the general public. Noise can also be an issue. Not only is it hard to hear instructions, but much of the noise is unnecessary. This problem can be easily solved by keeping the noise to a reasonable volume. Most of these rules should be self-explanatory, but it seems like some people still need reminders. Together, we can help make this situation better. So, anything you know you shouldn’t be doing? Don’t do it. If you see your friends doing these behaviours, try to discourage them. If you engage in any of the behaviours yourself, you could face consequences or maybe even being banned from taking the bus. If you have concerns about others, don’t hesitate to let the staff know, because they really want to help and know who is causing trouble. Anything you say will be kept confidential!
Something that tends to make people uncomfortable about the bus is that it’s often late. It’s understandable that waiting for up to 30 minutes for the bus is annoying, and I hope that buses will be arranged to come more quickly in the future. That adjustment would admittedly solve plenty of our problems. It would help with our safety, efficiency, and tolerance. Yet another problem is I think is that several of us would like to see the bus stop become a more sheltered area. Buses come through varying weather and waiting can get frustrating in the cold. Lastly, a problem mentioned is the bus drivers. It’s been said that they occasionally say rash things to students taking the bus and act impatient. The point is, a lot can be improved about our local bus stations, but the improvement starts with the student body.
As for the staff and transit people trying to aid us, they’re trying to stop students from going through the back door and squeezing into the bus. However, it is unclear if this is actually helping. Their main job is to observe what’s happening around the bus, as they are collecting-video footage from the bus stop. They may also show the school the footage they already have. What we need to do is cooperate and have patience, even though sometimes it can be hard to do so. The sooner you play by the rules, the sooner we can all get home.
“None of this should be necessary.” Mr. Clerkson adds. “All of our students know the difference between right and wrong. Let’s all encourage each other to do the right thing!”