My poor baby rides the bus for an hour and half!

United States
September 15, 2010 6:58pm CST
Our school district has made a ton of changes to try to cut their budget costs, and one of the changes was to the bus routes.. and most parents think it's ridiculous! My 4 year old started half day preschool this year through the school district. He rides the bus in in the morning with the rest of the elementary children, then at 11:30 he boards a small bus to bring him home. Now there's only 2 busses bringing the preschoolers home, and while dropping off the morning preschoolers they're picking up the afternoon preschoolers as well. This means my son isn't getting home until 1pm.. that's an hour and a half on the bus. He's not the only child with a very long bus ride.. I went to the school for a curriculum night on Monday and almost every parent of the preschoolers were complaining. Not only is it taking too long for the kids to get home.. but the busses don't return to the school until 1:15 when the afternoon class is supposed to start at 12:45.. that's cutting half an hour into their class time which is already only 2 and half hours. Poor kids! But preschoolers aren't the only children being affected. One mom, who's son is the same age as my twins, was telling me that her child isn't getting home until 5pm, when school lets out at 3:30.. then she mentioned what bus he rode, and it's the same bus my twins are on.. but she lives a mile west of the school while we live a mile east of the school. Then there is a trailer park a quarter mile further east.. but those kids don't ride the same bus as my kids do. I mean does this make any sense what so ever? Then my kids told me that when they're picked up in the morning, they go 2 miles north (back towards the bus garage) before returning to the school. Now wouldn't it make more sense if my kid's bus went to the trailer park up the road, then stopped here and picked up the dozen or so kids living in this park.. then picked up any other kids between here and the school and that's it? Then send another bus west to get those kids.. another south, another east.. NE, NW... you get the idea. I mean, I would think it would actually cost more to have each bus go in 4 different directions and mutliple busses going the same route for different pick ups. Is it just me? What's the longest your kids have ever had to ride on a bus for?
5 people like this
16 responses
@dawnald (84124)
• Shingle Springs, California
16 Sep 10
That's pretty darn absurd. When my son was in pre-school he was almost an hour on the bus and I thought that was too long. That was a special ed bus where they dropped the children at home rather than at a bus stop, but still...
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (44533)
• United States
16 Sep 10
I hated riding the bus when I was a kid. I had to get up so early. When I was 4, I went to K-4, and it was an all day school. Five days a week, from 8am to 3pm (We did get an hour to nap in class.) K-5, kindergarten was the same thing, all day (once again, an hour for a nap). We would have to get to the bus stop at 6:45am because my school was a good 30 minutes away, and we still had to pick up kids after me. Then we'd get out at 3pm, but I'd get home at 4:30pm. I hated it! It didn't bother the kids who lived close to the school. They got dropped off within 5 to 15 minutes. The worst was when the kids would throw up on the bus. We'd have to jump from seat to seat to get out the door. Yuck! I rode the bus from K-5 to third grade. I cannot tell you how happy I was to change schools.
• United States
16 Sep 10
The older kids don't have a problem, they're only on the bus half an hour. I ask the 4 year old everyday if he likes riding the bus and he says yes, so for now I'll leave it be. If he tells me he's having problems then I'll pick him up instead.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (44533)
• United States
16 Sep 10
I just hated it when I was four. It's good that he doesn't! Maybe it is just a girl thing. Boys probably don't care if they step in throw up. lol
• United States
16 Sep 10
Well I don't think anyone on my kid's busses have thrown up.. but I remember the first time my daughter had dance right after school she cried because she couldn't take the bus home.
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17824)
• United States
16 Sep 10
That is horrible. But unless the parents protest it, they probably won't do anything about it. School districts are like that. They don't care unless it effects them directly. WHen I was in jr high and high school (granted, not so bad on a kid that age over 4 years) school got out at 3:00 and I rode the bus, and didn't get home till 4:30. One bus took kids to my neighborhood, just the "first" bus run, took kids on the far back side of the neighborhood, and the "second" bus run took kids on the closer front side. Of coruse I was on the front side, so we had to hang around at school until 3:45ish when the bus came back. Then we'd board and of course, I was the second to last stop the bus made. Any chance you can do a car pool with other moms and have assigned days when one mom can take/pick up multiple kids and take them home that live near each other?
• United States
16 Sep 10
It's only a problem for the 4 year old, the others get home only half an hour after school gets out. The 4 year old says he likes riding the bus, so I am just letting him ride, he's probably taking a little nap anyways. If he didn't like it or wasn't handling it well then I'd go pick him up.
@shaggin (23740)
• United States
16 Sep 10
I dont think any student anywhere should have to ride a bus for longer than a half an hour. Thats good that your son doesnt mind the long bus ride but I know that for me a hour an a half waiting for my child to get home would really upset me. By the time my daughter gets home at 3:20 and I make dinner and give my kids their baths and get them to bed at 7:30 that isnt much time that I get to spend with them. Hopefully your school district will get a better bus situation so the child wont have such a long ride.
• United States
16 Sep 10
Shaggin... this is for morning preschool, he's home at 1pm and still has 3 hours without his older siblings home yet.
@1corner (744)
• Canada
16 Sep 10
That's way too long for a PRESCHOOLER to be on the bus! I don't have kids, but if I did, I'll try and figure out another way to get them to school and back faster. Are there any parents in your kid's school able to carpool?
• United States
16 Sep 10
I'd pick him up if he wanted me to, but he says he likes riding the bus.. so I won't argue, it gives me extra time without him underfoot and he's well taken care of on the bus.. his bus driver is really nice.
@1corner (744)
• Canada
18 Sep 10
Still, kats, that's too long. Isn't he hungry for lunch by then, too?
@dorannmwin (36608)
• United States
18 Sep 10
Busing is one of the things that I don't think that the school districts will ever get right. Here in our city I think that the school districts in general are messed up. Some children go to schools that are miles away and have to pass several schools to get to the school that they are districted to. My daughter is actually one example of this, but I won't complain about it because I really like the school that she is going to and it really isn't that far away from our house. She does ride the bus in the morning (most of the time) and in the afternoon. The morning bus picks her up 40 minutes before school starts but she gets to school in time for breakfast and such and after school she gets home about 20 minutes after school ends. Her bus stop is one of the last in the morning and one of the first in the afternoon.
• United States
18 Sep 10
It was like that for my sister when she was in elementary school. She was literally around the corner from one school but they bussed her to the opposite side of town to go to a different school. Then one of the places we lived they did that to my son.. his bus drove right past 2 schools to bring him to the one they decided to put him in. The district I currently live in there are not multiple schools per grade level... just 1 elementary, 1 middle, and 1 high school, so we don't have that problem.
@aurorastorm (1136)
• United States
16 Sep 10
We have a new school in our district, which is great and my son is really enjoying it, however they did not add any new buses and we are having a big problem with this as well. Your seems much bigger of an issue though, my son was 40 minutes delayed on the bus the first week. Now they have gotten it down to 25 still too much time in my opinion, but there is not much we can do about it. Do you have the option of picking your child up so they are not on the bus so long, that has to be pretty scary for a 4 year old.
• United States
16 Sep 10
Yes I can pick him up if I want to, but he enjoys the bus ride, and some days that extra time is helpful so I can get more done. If it were a problem for him I'd pick him up, but since he enjoys it I'll let him ride the bus.
• United States
16 Sep 10
That certainly is a long ride! I think they need to get things straightened out and fast!!!! My kids ride the bus for 30 minutes! Mind you if I would drive them again they would be in the van for say no more than 5 minutes if that. I thought I'd send them on the bus to save a few $ in gas money and the social skills / independance with riding the school bus. But so far.... one girl tried to walk home that was supposed to be on the bus so that was a 15 min delay, then a girl was busy talking or whatever and didn't get off at her stop and then today my middle went to the play ground instead of meeting up with my eldest to line up for the bus the teachers had to find her wich scares me! Wich you can be assured I'll be calling about this morning.
• United States
16 Sep 10
Yikes.. they sound a bit disorganized. Our school doesn't seem to have that problem, the teachers walk the entire class out to the busses.. preschoolers and kindergartners are escorted to their proper busses so they don't get lost, and most of the staff is out there ensuring kids are getting where they're supposed to go. Walkers leave at a different time before the bussers, and those who are picked up are also dismissed earlier than the bussers, so there's very little confusion. It's only the bus routes that are disorganized.
@Jae2619 (1485)
• United States
16 Sep 10
That is really really sad that 4 year olds are on the bus that long, let alone getting back to the school late to start other days worth of classes. Unfortunately this is happening in many school districts across the states. In my school district they cut back on the budget as well and they'd always ran a low bus count, but really went down this year. So morning routes were combined, with 4k-highschool on one bus, which i don't like. My son is 8, and has come home asking me what things are, because he's heard the older kids talking about it. His bus picks him up at 7 am, and he doesn't get to school until 15 til 8. We live about a mile from the school, and couldn't figure out why it would take 45 minutes to get to the school, so my husband took the day off from work and followed the bus. It's like it's got 4 routes into one, which is why it takes so long. They pick up on this side of town, drop off the highschoolers, then go pick up a few more on the way to the middle school, then drops them off and then does a complete turn around to go to the other side of school to get some more elementary school kids to finally make it to drop them off. My son has always loved riding the bus and begged to this year until the route got changed but there's no way we can get him to school since my husband has to leave for work at 6 30, and the school doesn't open until 7 15. It takes them right at an hour to get home. Elementary school gets out at 2:05 and he's home about 3, and sometimes a little earlier becasue his bus has to make it back to the highschool to take them home and they get out at 3:05. When it comes to something like this, talk to the other parents and if you have enough who are brave enough to complain, take it to the school board, honestly that's too long for your all's 4 year olds to be on the bus. Best of luck.
• United States
16 Sep 10
This year they changed the hours for 4th and 5th graders and they will ride the same busses as the high schoolers and get to school at the same time, where as the younger kids don't go to school till 9am. So next year I'll be putting up with the same things you are.
@shaggin (23740)
• United States
16 Sep 10
Our school did the same thing last year. Its really not to bad though especially when I see how your children are on the bus for an hour and a half. Thats horrible! If you live a mile from the school why should it take an hour and a half for the kids to get home thats crazy! The school needs to do something about this. I dont think the parents should have to pick up their kids after school is out just to see them at a reasonable time. That is way to long for kids to ride on a bus. My daughtr would vomit constantly with her motion sickness if she had to ride that long on a bus.
• United States
16 Sep 10
We don't seem to have a vomiting problem, and as I said, my son enjoys the bus ride, otherwise I would pick him up.
@GardenGerty (87563)
• Marion, Kansas
16 Sep 10
I drove a route like that for a special needs and Headstart Preschool. It is rough, and no matter how you do it, someone has to be on way longer than the others. Some changes were made as things went along. I helped draw some routes when a different company took over. Once the kids were in the main school district, not the pre school, we had a method of picking up the schools sequentially, then meeting and putting all the kids from one direction on one bus, etc. If he handles the ride okay, it is one thing. If there is trouble, then something should be done.
• United States
16 Sep 10
Like I said, if he has any trouble I'll pick him up, I'm right down the road so it's not a problem. He says he likes riding the bus, and to be honest I enjoy the extra free time, so for now I'm leaving it status quo.
@mtdewgurl74 (18122)
• United States
20 Sep 10
Ugh! I know some something about this or similar. I used to have to get on a bus before 6am in the morning (we were the first ones on the bus since the bus driver lived close to us.)and wouldn't get to school til 8:15am...Our bus picked up all the kids in the morning then took them to school and then we would have to wait for the other buses to come at the school so that the high school kids could get on 2 buses that would take us all the way to the high school while picking up other kids on the way.. that was way out of the way..we never got to eat at school because of this never was time except to get to locker and straight to homeroom. And if the buses were late..which in bad weather they were occasionally. And the same thing happened in reverse on the way home...
@ANIME123 (2473)
• United States
17 Sep 10
Really is terrible those poor kids that would make me suffer I could only imagine what they are going through because I never did like riding the bus and for that long I think that I would start to go crazy. Still I don't think that schools should cut their losses by limiting the buses because that's something that is important and essential. My school also went through some cuts I am just grateful that they weren't sever budget cuts when I was there. I just hope that the economy gets a bit better because the way that it is going now is not good and something should really be done about it.
@jillhill (37354)
• United States
17 Sep 10
My kids didn't get the opportunity to ride a bus...they had to walk and it was a very very long walk! I was working in the morning and couldn't take them myself so that was their only alternative! The older they got though they did find rides with other parents..of which I am very thankful. I hope your school would sit down and realize what they are doing!
@cher913 (25895)
• Canada
16 Sep 10
my kids have always walked and when i was young, i only took the bus for 45 minutes as the most. however, my sister in law's kids catch the bus at shortly after 7 when school starts at a quarter to 9. she has done that from the age of 4 as well.
• Canada
16 Sep 10
Hubby and I were talking, and that's way too long for a small child to be on a bus. When I was a kid I always lived near a school. When I was 17 I started at a school for the blind about an hour and a half from here. By that age I enjoyed the commute, but as a kid, it would have been too much.
@zazagugu (81)
• China
16 Sep 10
i think it's a little hard for a four years old baby to have a 1 hour ride . its terrible .i some times have a long ride ,when the time is over a hour ,i'll feel very sick.And i don't want to ride again. so i can feel the feeling to have a long ride everyday.it must be terrible .The changes are too unacceptable.i suggest you to talk to the master of the school,if it doesn't work ,then report it to the newspaper.we should to something to prevent this from happening again.