Survival of the Fittest

The way kids these days get on a bus

Every day, approximately one hundred kids line up by a sign with a bus number on it. For most kids, taking the bus is the fastest mode of transportation, if not the only one. Students either pay a dollar or swipe their bus pass threw in order to guarantee a ride home. The two most common routes that students take are route 218 and route 623; both are notorious for their unpunctuality, rude bus drivers, and lack of organization.

I understand that the buses cannot give a specific time of arrival, but as paying customers, students should be given an approximate time and shouldn’t be forced to wait more than ten minutes past the given time. Kids depend on the buses in order to get home, and they may actually have prior commitments that they must attend to. And if the bus comes at different times each day, students are never sure what to expect.

For example, suppose student A was waiting for the bus on Monday, and the bus driver decides to come at 2:55, when school gets out at 2:35. The following day, student A needs to take the bus home again, but as the bell rings, student A desperately needs to go the bathroom and figures she has at least five minutes to spare. The bus driver decides to come at 2:50pm that day. Poor student A is now forced to find an alternative ride home.

Not only does the bus come at bipolar times, the bus drivers seem like they could care less. Kids never know who the bus driver is going to be and they anticipate the face of the driver. On route 218, there are usually three common bus drivers that come, each who have a different attitude toward the students. One male bus driver stops at least three feet from the bus stop for pure amusement, while another female bus driver refuses to open the door until every person is in a “single file line.” And then of course there is that one bus driver that everyone hopes to have.

“The AC transit bus driver blows,” says frequent rider junior Rohan Agarwal.  In one instance, the female bus driver refused to stop because a student pressed the “stop” button and nobody got out. Getting home is  becoming a big challenge for kids today.

Another dilemma, is getting there first. Since you never know where the bus is exactly going to stop, it seems like a good idea to bring a friend with you when you are taking the bus. Your friend should stand guarding the left side of the bus stop, while you should stand on the right side. That way, you increase your chances on getting on the bus. On route 218 and route 623, don’t be surprised if they close the doors on your face, even where there is ample room on the bus. That’s just the way it seems to work.

Taking the bus is like a test for survival of the fittest. The kids who can safely make it on the bus without getting kicked out will gain adaptations to help them for the future. For the students who cannot, I highly suggest taking the next bus.