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Students arrive late due to bus crowding

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Students arrive late due to bus crowding

Students walk to the buses at the end of the school day. New traffic patterns and overcrowding were issues.

Students walk to the buses at the end of the school day. New traffic patterns and overcrowding were issues.

Maryann Xue

Students walk to the buses at the end of the school day. New traffic patterns and overcrowding were issues.

Maryann Xue

Maryann Xue

Students walk to the buses at the end of the school day. New traffic patterns and overcrowding were issues.

Maryann Xue, Managing Editor

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To those who take the school bus on a regular basis, the cries of “three to a seat,” especially during morning bus rides, have become all too familiar.

This year welcomed the largest freshman class in years which has led to issues with morning and afternoon school buses. Compared with last year, the buses are significantly more crowded and are often late, leaving students waiting at their bus stops without any shelter and limiting their opportunities to do things before class.

“We don’t go to first period late, but we would want more time to meet up with friends or meet with a teacher or something. We don’t have time for that. We come at 8:00, or 8:05, and we have to run to class,” said senior Soha Mohammed. “In previous years, we used to come at 7:50 so we had 15 or 20 minutes but now we barely have five.”

The late buses are likely due to the increased number of people getting on and off the bus at any given time as well as new traffic patterns with the movement of the kiss and ride. The combination of buses, parents dropping off their kids, and students driving their own cars to school have contributed to the traffic. Students believe that having more parking spaces would help resolve the issue.

“My parents spent a lot of money on a car that pretty much never got used because [my brother] and I would ride the bus to school,” said junior Troy Burke. “I feel like if we had more parking and gave more students the opportunity to drive to school, then issues like [bus lateness and overcrowding] wouldn’t exist. Buses would be less crowded and it would be less of an issue if buses were late because less people rely on that.”

The large number of people on buses has proved to be a struggle to handle. The days of not wanting to share your seat with another person are long gone; now three people were expected to sit in a seat, and if that didn’t happen, the bus wouldn’t move.

“[Bus crowding] is really annoying. People just push you around sometimes and it’s not safe for people in the aisles as well. It gets loud and noisy,” said Mohammed.

Although things have improved from the first week of school, there is still a significant amount of discomfort and inconvenience associated with crowded and late buses. Many students have resolved these issues by driving to school or getting rides from friends, but the FCPS transportation department could also tweak the bus schedules to offer safer, more comfortable experiences for students.

“I don’t know how the whole system works but they should rearrange some of the stops. Some buses don’t have as many stops so maybe shuffling it up a bit might help,” said Mohammed.

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Students arrive late due to bus crowding