PHOENIX, AZ – The issue of buses being overcrowded has brought many concerns for student safety.
During the first few weeks of school the bus is filled with a crowds of Washington High School. The bus would become so packed that some of the students were standing in the isles or sitting three to a seat. It was rare when there was a seat with only two people in it.
Students began contacting parents about the problem who then turned to WHS principal for answers.
WHS Principal Ashley Burns came onto the bus and tried to address the problem head on with the kids on route 05-1.
In order to be able to get on the bus you need to have the right route number on your ID. Having your ID with you at all times is what guarantees you access on the bus. Without it you are more likely to be turned away from being able to access transportation.
“We tried to go out there and make sure all kids had the right bus number on their which they did,” Burns said. “ If we did not check ID’s [I feel] kids would that live kind of close to a stop would get on to reduce the walk. So more kids would end up riding the bus to play the system.”
Knowing who gets on and off the buses ensures students safety. Asking for an ID prevents future consequences that could have been avoided.
According to Hilma Gustafon, transportation supervisor at the Glendale Union School District Office, there are a few ways schools can solve the overcrowded bus issue.
“If we have an overload situation at the schools we ask for the maintenance drivers to take one of the spare bus to go out and make sure there is not overloading,” Gustafon said.
However, sometimes the overcrowding on the bus leaves students standing in the aisles whether it be 2 to 10 people without a seat.
Each bus has a capacity level that shows how many kids are allowed to be on the bus at a time.
“So typically for a 90 passenger bus it will seat 90, but that is not going to hold 90 High School students. That capacity is geared towards elementary school students- then you would take that number and cut it in half,” Gustafon said. “Policy says 2 two a seat and at for some high school students need single seats.”
When asked how they felt about students standing on the bus Burns spoke up. “I think there has to be a limit at some point, we shouldn’t even be letting kids on,” Burns said.
Burns added that the overcrowded bus situation always happens at the beginning of the year.
WHS administration had to move up when they were going to start late bus in order to get some people off the bus to reduce the numbers. The late bus is available for students at 4 pm Monday through Thursday. The issue is how to solve the problem before next fall.
“We want to continue to reflect on and solve the issue; we do not want to let the issue continue,” Burns said. “We need solutions.”