Bus Rides Home; Not so Comfortable

Riding the school bus is a necessity for many of our students. While we are provided with a safe ride to and from school, we are encountering some issues.

School transportation providers determine the number of persons that can safely fit into a school bus seat. Generally, they fit three smaller elementary school-age persons or two adult high school-age persons into a typical 39-inch school bus seat, according to NHTSA.gov. But as the size and shape of each student varies, these size limits do not accommodate all. 

“Yes, the school needs to change how many students should sit on a seat. I’v had to sit poking out in the aisle,” said Anniyah Wright (8). “I was uncomfortable and there were about three other people sitting in the aisle because there was not enough room.” 

A typical day of high school starts at about 7:30 a.m. and ends around 3:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Most school buses pick up between 10-30 minutes after school is dismissed. However, some students do not arrive at home until 1.5 – 2 hours after school has ended. 

“Once I got home at like 5 o’clock. They had to pick up the elementary kids before us which made us all have to wait even longer,” said Wright.

School buses typically are manufactured with a minimum 12-inch aisle width, except for buses with wheelchair lifts. School buses with wheelchair lifts often have a minimum 30-inch aisle from the lift to the wheelchair attachment position. But maybe schools should consider increasing all bus aisle widths. 

“I can’t even get off the bus without bumping into anyone or feeling like I’m going to fall. First, I have to sit with people I don’t know and then I can barely get off the bus. It’s crazy,” said eighth grader, Ashlyn Tidwell.

An excerpt from “Positive Discipline: A Teacher’s A-Z Guide Problems” states that the bus rides seem to be a major concern in kindergarten through high school. “Look at the behavior on any bus, anywhere in the world, and you will have a barometer of the development of (or lack of) internalized social skills, life skills, and social interest.” 

“There’s a lot of disrespect coming from the kids. They really don’t listen and act like the bus drivers don’t matter. The bus drivers stay calm for the most part, but they are always on the edge about all the disrespect,” said Tidwell.