On The Road To Trouble

Bus, ala PBC

Lauren Alsina

Bus, ala PBC

Danny Smith, Humor Columnist

In Speed, a clean shaven Keanu Reeves must outwit a lunatic with an explosive device while maintaining a 50mph speed in a public bus. Exciting, heartwarming, action packed.

However, this isn’t a review of a movie that came out 19 years ago. The current public transportation system for the schools of Palm Beach County only has the excitement portion of Speed because of the feeling of ever present danger.

Rickety, damaged seats with seatbelts that often don’t work (or are never used because who wants to look like a nerd and use that if a crash would kill us all anyway, amirite?), with horrible cramped conditions (2 to a seat is often too much, while the county standard is 3 to a seat. How does that even make sense?) and an engine that most likely wouldn’t even reach 50mph, let alone keep it constant.

School buses are severely underfunded. Chief Operating Officer Mike Burke recently stated that, in order to deal with the loss of funding, the school district has been “holding off on buying buses.”

There aren’t enough buses to adequately provide children with a safe environment to drive in, nor does there seem to be enough happy bus drivers in a state of mind to be driving 40+ kids (I would know, I’ve seen the screaming).

I have had bus drivers who have decided to not show up, who have quit, and who have obviously not felt obligated enough to do their jobs based on either the amount of work they’d have to put in or the lack of payment they receive.

There have been times where I had to practically hitch-hike with a classmate because the bus I take home didn’t show up for an hour. To quote some wise words: “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

So how do we “fix” the buses? Honestly, it would be a very simple remedy to just fund maybe 3 or 4 more school buses for our school, thus lowering the average amount of students in each bus by at least 10 and freeing up more room.

Also, the bus drivers probably need slightly higher pay, seeing as their mental well being and stability are the factor for which ROAD RAGE IN A GIANT YELLOW BUS needs to not happen.

I was in a bus on a day that it did, in fact, get into a “crash.” The crash consisted of one of the side-view mirrors getting dented slightly by another car passing by.

The bus driver freaked out, seeing as she had no clue what to do because the school system (or transportation system, whoever’s in charge) hadn’t prepared any of the drivers for what to actually do in a crash.

The kids were stuck there, 15 feet away from the bus stop, and not allowed to get off until a crash report was filed and their parents picked them up.

If that doesn’t make you feel like you’re in bad hands, I don’t know what will.

Of course, I could be entirely wrong about this and just ride a bad bus on bad days that doesn’t admirably show the Palm Beach County’s bus patterns. But to the 40 kids on my bus (that’s supposed to hold 35 kids), they suffer just a bit more than necessary after 8 hours of school.

Keanu Reeves would say that this is totally bogus, but that’s the wrong movie.