Monday, September 17, 2007

Adventures on the Bus?

So I recently found out that the public bus goes by the charter school and within blocks of my house. So, today one of the other parents drove me to the school so I could ride the bus with the kids and show them how easy it would be.

Now, the bus only comes once an hour, and it is a wave 'em down system. There should be actual bus stops later, but for now you gotta watch and wave.

Fortunately, one of the kids was home sick (you will see why that was fortunate later). I collected the kids, we got across the busy four lane road and stood under the sign for the big city high school. We accidentally waved at a couple of charter busses and one RV, but that was no big deal.

The big deal was when the bus we needed came barreling down the road, in the inside lane, and did not even see us waving away.

So I'm trying to be cheerful. I call the mom who dropped me off, who is on the freeway half way home. School's been out for 25 minutes, the next bus doesn't come for an hour, and we are currently stuck.

I called the bus company and told them what happened.

They sent a car for us. I hadn't actually told them that it wasn't me, and it was a small car, but we managed to squeeze all three boys into the back seat. See why it was good that there weren't more of us?

Anyway, it turned out that the woman in the car was the dispatch supervisor. She assured us we were standing in a good place, in fact they pick up kids at the high school right there all the time. It was a new driver though who was picking up for a bus that had broken down and he was thinking that his route started five blocks from where we were (where the bus route turns to come back the other way). She said it should never happen again.

It took her a while, zipping around town, onto the freeway and back down to the boulevard, but she finally caught up with our bus and we sat on it for the last 10 minutes of what was supposed to be a 50 minute ride.


I promised the kids I would ride with them again before making them do it alone.

We did get the ride free though.

I am really hoping that the kids don't whine too much to their parents about it -- you know, so they parents will all agree to this system for getting them home. I've picked out a spot where I can park to meet the bus as it comes into town. They can all get out and right into the van and I will drive them to their homes.

I think the next time I will ride the bus from here and meet them there. That way I can make sure the bus stops!


  1. All of my older kids rode the public bus to and from high school. Julia is a senior this year and has had a very different schooling situation, so this is the first year it has been feasible to have her ride the bus. When I suggested it she pitched a royal fit. When I gave her $2 and pointed her in the direction of the bus stop in front of our house, she got worse. Now that she has ridden for a couple of weeks she thinks it's not so bad. Perhaps by the end of the school year she will actually like it. Or maybe just decide she wants her license after all.

  2. Coming from the midwest where you either drive or take the school bus it was shocking at how young the kids who take the public buses alone to school. I've seen kids as young as 8 or 9 who travel alone every day.


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