Alonso Student News
By Axelle Antoine
Millions of kids around the nation have once or occasionally enjoyed a ride on the big yellow vehicle that we call a school bus. It gets them to school and back home usually in a timely manner. However, Hillsborough County Public Transportation has been experiencing MAJOR bus delays and tardies, since August 10th , 2018, the first day of school.
How was this issue brought about? It hasn’t been because of basic setbacks that we usually
run into, including weather and traffic. Many inferences have been made from a lot of students,
staff, and even parents. Nonetheless, the best point of view to evaluate would be from the operator of
the automobiles themselves: a bus driver.
Driver, David Eastup, Bus 5454, seems to know exactly what the problem is: “They’re short of drivers. You can’t have the buses moving if you don’t have someone to drive them”. If there were more drivers, there would be less stops, and a better and shorter route to the high school. “If you get people to take the job, then yes, but not that many people want to take the job… All I can do is show up on time, which I do every day, and drive a safe route to school, that’s about it”. Not many people want to commit to this job, leaving buses overloaded with students, but also leaving out other stops. The district has said that they are working hard on this issue, but students and drivers haven’t seen much of a difference.
How is that affecting our students? For one, tardies are not the best to go through, even if they’re excused. Most late bus students receive tardy passes, but in one instance, last week, a bus was marked to have come at 8:27, giving students three minutes to get to class, but an announcement over the intercom said that they did not receive passes and that they had to be marked tardy.
The actual act of receiving a tardy can be the least of a student’s worries, especially when they can be missing up to three complete hours of educational time. This is the record for how late these buses have come. That is an estimated three and a half classes. Because of this big complication, students may receive an abundance of makeup work, the inability to participate in certain activities, and just overall missing out on the privilege that all public-school students of Hillsborough County should have: to receive an education.