Riding The Bus: A Game Of Hurry Up And Wait

Due to the current bussing situation, middle schoolers have to wait for 40 minutes before high schoolers even get on to go home.


Kyla Albright, Staff Writer

Life can sometimes seem like a game of “hurry and wait.” Just ask Elkhart’s middle schoolers, who hurry to catch their buses at the end of the day–only to wait 40 more minutes for the high schoolers to get onboard. 

Of all the issues that came about s a result of the start of school, the one that has middle schoolers fuming is the lengthy time spent on a bus each day. When the high schools merged, the bus routes also merged, meaning middle schoolers would now need to ride the same buses as the high school students.

Colin Albright is a student at West Side Middle School. “I am on the bus for an hour and a half,” he laments. “And, 45 of those minutes are spent at the high school!” That is almost enough time to drive to Chicago! Moreover, half of that time, the bus isn’t even moving. “All of my free time in the evening is taken away from me by sitting on the bus.”

It would be one thing if there were something productive to do during this wait time. However, there is not sufficient space to do homework. So, what do this students do to stave off the boredom? “I don’t get that bored,”  Albright admits, “because I have friends, so I talk to them. When we aren’t on the bus, I just listen to music,” he adds. Still, Albright would prefer getting home earlier so that he could use his free time more productively.

What truly makes Albright–and all the other riders–hot is the lack of cool air on the bus. Despite the summer heat, the buses are not allowed to remain running when they aren’t actually on the road, so that increases the heat when there is no air conditioning. “We are allowed to have our windows down–at least my bus driver allows it,” Albright confides. However, it is never cooler inside than the temperature is outside, which means that students have had to deal with the sweltering heat conditions this year. It will be interesting to see what occurs in the middle of the winter if the same rule applies. Sitting on a non-running bus in freezing weather send chills down one’s spine!

Hopefully, this bus situation will change over time, as more drivers are hired and routes are streamlined. But, those things take time. In the meantime, middle schoolers have little choice but to sit back and enjoy the ride.