Mallory King • News Editor
Riding the bus this year is like the new cafeteria changes; hectic at first, but in the long-run, beneficial for most students.
Last year, the bus routes were challenging for students and administrators alike.
“It took us almost a half hour every day to get kids from the bell onto the bus and out,” Principal Ric Stranges said. “Thirty minutes everyday.”
For a lot of students, this 30 minutes was not enjoyable.
“There were kids who were out in the cold, kids in the rain, kids in transferring busses, so with the help of our wonderful transportation department… they decided to look at it differently,” Stranges said.
This is when Stranges and the transportation department decided to collaborate and create a new system.
“Last year, and previous years, Hayes and Dempsey let out exactly at 2:30, and it just didn’t make any sense,” Stranges said. “So, they moved [Dempsey’s dismissal] ten minutes later, so they are 2:40, which allows us to pick up and exit in less than eight minutes.”
Many students this year can feel the effect of these changes.
“Usually I have to wait at least ten minutes, maybe, so a lot better than last year.” junior Tessa Kidd said. “Last year we had to wait for… 25 [minutes], because I was on the second round of busses.”
The changes to the bus routes has also allowed the district to become more energy efficient and save money.
This year, there are thirteen buses, instead of the thirty used in previous years.
“Thirteen buses load up and pull out in eight minutes or less,” Stranges said.” Kids can get home quicker and start their homework.”
With this being said, not all students believe the bus is the best use of their time.
“The bus ride to my house is 20 minutes longer than walking home,” junior Melissa Mason said.
Mason’s bus route was combined with another, in order to improve the overall efficiency of the bussing system.
“Dempsey kids, at one point would have to get off the bus and just stand around,” Stranges said. “Students are no longer having to transfer buses. There is one run that runs through.”
Having only one wave of buses helps the flow of buses to other schools.
“All the elementaries are benefiting, because we get out faster,” Stranges said.
When the students get out faster, that means the bus drivers get their job done more easily.
“[The bus drivers] are so thrilled, and I think the students are too,” Stranges said. “I see happy bus drivers.”
Putting the few negatives aside, Stranges believes this new system will benefit students.
“I don’t see anyone losing in this deal, unless… they are on the bus too long,” Stranges said. “I think honestly, it’s like lunch; I hope we are all going to benefit from it.”