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Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

Bus Driver Shortage Drives Up Late Arrivals

Prima Changwatchai
Students wait for their buses after school. Although 62.5% of students who responded to a survey about the impact of the national bus driver shortage reported that their buses were usually late, several students had positive experiences with their bus drivers. “My bus driver is always on time and really cares about us,” Advait Omshankar ’27 said. “She has fought for 3 different buses just because it was hot on [each] one.”

Every school day, hundreds of students clutter beneath Westwood’s bus canopy in the afternoon, waiting for their ride home. But while some students can expect their buses to consistently be at the front of the bus line by 4:20 p.m., others often find themselves waiting at least half an hour for their buses to arrive.

The currently ongoing school bus driver shortage could be at least partially to blame for this issue. In a survey about the impact of the shortage on Westwood bus riders, 62.5% of students reported that their buses were usually late, with 15.3% claiming that their buses usually arrived over 30 minutes after they were scheduled to.

“I’ve heard there’s a shortage and it’s been affecting my commute drastically because I’m usually the last bus,” an anonymous student said. “I get home around 5:15-5:20 and that’s already an hour wasted.”

Late bus arrivals have led some students to seek alternate methods of traveling to and from school, such as having their parents drive them.

“I stopped riding the bus because it took so long for the bus to pick up and drop off,” Alexandre Day ‘25 said. “It’s faster to walk home and just have my dad drive me in the mornings.”

In addition to issues with lateness, many students reported that the buses were often overcrowded due to less available bus drivers, which could especially impact band or orchestra students who could struggle to find space for instruments on the bus.

“We don’t have enough buses [and there are] too many kids, so pretty much everyone has to sit three to a seat,” Amelia Nuccitelli ‘27 said. “If you have an instrument or anything extra, it’s just a huge pain.”

School districts around the country have responded to the shortage with various solutions, such as increasing recruitment advertising, raising bus driver pay, or even offering free bus driver training classes. Most student suggestions from the survey aligned with these ideas, although other suggestions included reinstating property taxes which pay into school districts.

“Make the governor reinstate property taxes so that the schools will have more funds,” Day said. “Lack of funds from the government to school districts prevents the districts from being able to pay bus drivers, especially if other jobs pay more.”

Other survey takers drew attention to some students’ underappreciation of bus drivers, which could discourage people from taking the job, leading to employment issues.

“Bus drivers [are] tired of rude kids,” Caitlyn Dorgelo ‘27 said. “Being a bus driver is hard. Driving around for a job sounds fun until you have to drive a 25,000-pound vehicle with loud and obnoxious kids on it who take you for granted. [We should talk] to students about being respectful and not making drivers’ lives any harder. You never know what someone is going through.”

As school districts search for solutions, students with repeatedly late buses are left to face the consequences.

“[The bus driver shortage] doesn’t affect me as much as my friends who struggle to get to work on time because of how late the bus gets us home,” Noor Sadeq ‘25 said. “[The district] should find out from drivers why they believe we have a shortage because they understand the situation more than anyone else.”

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About the Contributor
Prima Changwatchai, Community & World News Editor
Class of 2025 I love writing, photography, and design, so I’m thrilled to be on Student Press! When I’m not doing journalism work, I’m still typing up stories and taking photographs, only I’m also doing the daily New York Times puzzles, making little doodles in my math notebook, reading anything from poetry to fantasy fiction, learning new songs on the piano, and overthinking everything.

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