Friday, 1 October 2010

Who are these guys?

I promise after I get this all out I will leave it alone. I need to stop letting it fester so that I can get to sleep before 2am.

How much do I hate school buses? A lot. More than most. I abhor them.

The theory behind them is great. Kids get picked up by their home so that the parents don't have to drive them all the way to school. That is the theory, right? Unfortunately, our bus seems to be more trouble than it is worth.

Never mind the stop on one of the busiest streets in town. Never mind the bus coming 15 minutes early in the morning so we often miss it. Never mind the bus coming anywhere between 5 minutes to 25 minutes late every afternoon. Never mind the bus stop being changed so that it is two blocks away.

I know these decisions are all made by someone in an office far away (an hour away, in a completely different town). I know it must be hard to coordinate it. I know I can't expect a pickup at my front door. But I think this is getting ridiculous. The busy street means I can't take the van far warmth in the winter while we wait, so we must walk to the stop every day. The unpredictability of the bus arrival in the afternoon has meant numerous bathroom accidents for Caleb, since we leave so early and wait so long, and can't go anywhere when he has to go.

I had been complaining about the stop they originally gave us, because we had to jay-walk that busy street to get to the stop. So they moved it two blocks away, and still on that busy street (at a light). But here's the schedule now for us to pick up Colin:

School end time: 3:20 pm.
Scheduled bus stop time: 3:40 pm

I start getting coats and shoes on: 3:10 pm
Leave the home: 3:15
Get to bus stop: 3:35
Bus arrives: 3:40 - 4:05 (different every day, 4/5 times it is nearer to 4pm)
Arrive back home: 4:25.

Did you notice the time difference? Picking up Colin at the bus takes us an hour and 15 minutes, in good weather. Add at least 10 minutes for winter gear. In what world is an hour and a half an appropriate time to get your kid from the bus???????!!!!!!!!!!!

Here's my new idea:

School ends at 3:20pm

Load kids in van: 3:10
Pick up Colin: 3:20pm
Arrive back home: 3:25 pm.

15 minutes, 20 at the most. Beyond ridiculous.

James and I spent an hour last night submitting a formal request to change Colin's bus. Why? There is another bus that drives right by our street, about 2 minutes from our house. It picks up our good friends around the corner and then drives them right to school. There are only two stops and 3 kids on this bus. Currently, Colin is on the bus for 40 minutes each way. His new bus ride would be about 10 minutes. And the bus stop is 4 times closer to our house.

Breathe, Terri-Ann, breathe. The proposal was lovely. I even included a map of the bus route we hope to be changed to, with its previous stop, our proposed stop, and the next stop, all mapped out with pretty stars and a highlighted route. It is supposed to take 3 weeks for them to make a decision. But let me tell you - if they deny the request, I'll know for sure the level of incompetency I'm dealing with.

Thankfully, my good friend who lives around the corner said that if we can't get onto their bus, I could put her name down as Colin's before and after school babysitter location, and Colin can get on and off the bus there.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Breathe, baby, breathe! :-) I can hear the frustration in your voice, so I don't have to imagine it. I love that you are taking the time to outline your thoughts in a letter to the bus company. I love that you are so meticulous and exact with your letter - there will be no mistaking the message when it is received - nice and intelligent and logical. I also love that your friend has given you a way to make it all work out even if those people at the bus company can't see what's best for the child. It will all work out in the end - one way or the other - I just wish that you hadn't inherited your mother's habit of worrying and fretting so much. :-)