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Commute Commotion

A look at why the buses keep getting canceled.
Hannah Zimmer
Lake Stevens school buses at the bus barn in the early morning.

The bus cancellations have been causing a commotion in the Lake Stevens School District recently. Because the district does not have enough bus drivers and has a lot of students in the school system, district transportation has been having trouble. The bus cancellations are largely caused by not having enough drivers. When Covid occurred and schools shut down, some of our drivers didn’t end up coming back to work. With most of our bus drivers being over the age of 60, this caused previous employees to be worried about getting sick; schools are filled with germs which makes it very easy to get sick, so they sought new employment to protect themselves. 

Two years after returning to the classroom, we can now see that not having enough drivers in Lake Stevens obviously had an impact on our community. Lack of transportation for students has been the talk of the town. This has led to parents and guardians upset and irritated at our school bus drivers because of the bus cancellations going on. School start time has been delayed after the pandemic, which has made it harder for the bus drivers. 

Cavelero buses sitting in bus loop waiting for school to be dismissed. (Hannah Zimmer)

Some parents and guardians have not realized that with the time changes with the schools in our district, bus drivers have not been able to drive the amount of schools they used to be able to drive. Lake Stevens bus drivers were able to drive four routes for four different schools, now that has decreased to drive only three routes. This has dramatically impacted school transportation schedules and caused bus cancellations to be set into place. 

Unfortunately, the situation can’t be solved by simply hiring just anyone in the labor pool. A commercial driver’s license class B is required also known as a CDL and not just anyone has that or can get it. A CDL is a license you have to take in  order to drive a heavy weighted vehicle, which is basically another, more demanding driver’s test. Applicants have to go through a lot of testing and driving a vehicle with a gross combined weight of 26,001 pounds or more. Unfortunately not all people that go through the training pass the test. 

Driving a bus is not as easy as some people think it is. An average school bus is around 35 to 45 feet long and has 60 plus students on the bus. The drivers need to pay attention to the road and maintain the safety of the students, and that can be difficult. 

This is why Lake Stevens buses are being canceled and why we don’t have enough drivers for the cancellations to stop. It’s unfortunate, because driving a bus is rewarding; you get to watch kids grow up and become awesome individuals. Driving a bus can be hard as well as stressful and overwhelming, but there is so much more to that. Being a bus driver is very important. Our drivers keep students safe while bringing them to school to learn but most of all, they’re the first good morning of their day and the last goodbye of their day. A small nice gesture as a bus driver can change a student’s mood with a positive outcome which is very important. When most adults think about driving a school bus, most people would look on the negative side and that’s why a lot of adults don’t choose being a bus driver as their job. 

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About the Contributor
Hannah Zimmer
Hannah Zimmer, Journalist
Hannah Zimmer is currently a freshman at Cavelero Mid High School. Hannah is a very extroverted person who loves being around her friends. She is a fan of sports such as softball, baseball, football, basketball, and barrel racing. She loves to be outside and have fun with family and friends. Currently she plays softball with 3 years of experience. When shes not at school or playing softball she likes to write, listen to music, hangout with friends, practice softball, go to car shows and races, as well as scroll on tiktok.

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