By: Will Brent Inzana
Imagine having to start each day sitting on the filthy, dirt encrusted floor of an overcrowded school bus. The driver yells: "squeeze in.”
Easier said than done.
The cause of this all? A massive shortage of drivers.
“I get on other peoples’ buses, because my bus is too full and takes too long,” said sophomore, Sam Peters.
With the increase of students taking the bus to Grandview, the problem of overcrowding has become more and more prevalent.
Students sitting three to a seat, and even on the floor of the bus has become a normal sight. Along with that issue, the students have to deal with the timeliness of the buses arriving at the school. Some busses are consistently late, affecting the teachers, and the students’ education.
“It takes forever for people to find a seat, so then I'm late to class almost every single day,” said Lawson.
Being cramped in a bus with more than seventy other kids gets old.
“It’s just really, really annoying, as an injured person who has a knee brace when I can’t
bend my knee,” said freshman, Kaitlyn Fourth.
Students who have injuries, such as Fourth, have an even harder time riding the bus.They still are expected to cling onto the very edge of their seats along with other students.
“We ask drivers to let us know if routes are too heavy with numbers, but the problem is we are 40+ drivers short,” said the Director of Transportation for the district, Gary Thompson.
The district is put in a hard situation to find more bus drivers, and fast.
“What is causing this issue is a very tight job market right now, the Denver metro area has a very low unemployment rate--around three percent,” said Thompson, “Then, to be a bus driver, you have to get your CDL license and pass the physical restraints as well.”
The district and bus drivers alike are in a rut, and it’s going to be hard to get out of it.
“It is a tough situation, because ultimately, we want to get students to school on time and safely,” said Thompson.
In the upcoming year, the district has commented that they are going to hire and train new drivers and make improvements to the buses. Until then, the buses will continue to be overcrowded and unsafe for the students.