Hey Bus Drivers, Got a Sec?

Hey Bus Drivers, Got a Sec?

It’s a new semester, classes are changing and students are being introduced to sudden uproots of their schedules, and not just for single semester classes.

This means that students ending in South Building now end in North, and vice versa. This doesn’t sound like a big deal, right? And on most occasions, it wouldn’t be. But it becomes a problem when you consider the buses. Specifically, bus drivers not checking students’ IDs and allowing just about anyone to get on any bus and take up seating for assigned occupants.

The H-F website states, “Students without a valid H-F I.D. card cannot ride the bus. Students shall present their I.D. card when they board the bus.” Implying that, without an ID stating their name, face, and bus route, a student cannot board any bus. This rule was implemented in the 2023-24 school year and has been put in effect since.

How long has it been followed is a completely different question.

I ended in North Building three out of five times in the first semester. Every day I would get to the bus around 3:07, only to find it almost, if not completely, full. On a few occasions, I would get a seat on my bus, my driver wouldn’t bother checking my I.D.

Is it true that not every bus is like this? Yes, it is. 

But the fact that any of them are is a problem in itself. Students taking the buses don’t account for an alternate way of transportation. The overload bus seems like a solution, right? Until it’s anywhere from 10 degrees or 95 outside and you’re stuck outside watching the bus you should be on the drive off, also while waiting 20 or 30 minutes for your backup.

A backup that is taking resources away from other schools. With the national bus driver shortage, every bus available is key in getting students aged 4 to 18 to and from school. There simply aren’t enough resources to spare two buses when driver salaries are being raised to attract more of them.

According to chalkbeat.org, “CPS (Chicago Public Schools) currently have 715 of the roughly 1,300 drivers it needs, officials said.”

So how could H-F stop taking those valuable resources?

Having bus drivers check a student’s I.D.

The reason the bus rule was implemented was to prevent this very problem. But with a new semester and classes changing, in my eyes, it’s gotten even worse.

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