DGS problems with buses and dismissal


Itzelh Ruiz-Flores

Students wait for their bus as they are looking at earlier buses leaving.

Meida Kuzminskas, Graphics/Photo Editor

Since the pandemic, bus problems have been frequently impacting students within DGS. People stand outside for over 20 minutes waiting for the after school bus to arrive, even in unfavorable weather conditions.

As many students wait for the bus, the DGS administration works hard to cooperate with the transportation company First Student. The amount of drivers available for bus driver positions have decreased dramatically over the past two years, leading to a shortage.

Due to this shortage, routes with elementary schools in the area have to be shared with DGS, and there aren’t enough buses that can take all of the DGS students home on time. Associate Principal Omar Davis talked about how both the school and First Student are trying to solve the issues.

“First Student will continue to look to hire drivers, which I think is one of the major issues. We have asked that First Student implement or complete bus counts [simply counting the number of riders]. That gives us the ability to make changes to certain routes,” Davis said.

When asked why the school continues to partner with First Student, Davis mentions his personal opinion.

“Over the years there have been different bus companies the district has worked with, but First Student has a local garage in Westmont. So, it kind of makes sense for the nearest and closest bus transportation provider to work with our school district,” Davis said.

As a final note to all the students that have to wait for the bus after dismissal, Davis apologizes.

“We apologize for having them wait until 20, sometimes even 30 minutes after school has been dismissed. It is a heavy lift, and the only thing we can do is to remind them that they’re welcome to come inside. We’re looking at trying to keep the coffee bar open after school. Our sincere apologies go to those families and students that have to wait. We’re going to continue to work on it,” Davis said.

DGS junior Itzelh Ruiz-Flores rides on the bus often, and has this to say about how late buses have affected her. She mentions how the latest her bus has come was around 4:10 p.m. Ruiz-Flores says how she has chores and other things to do after school that the bus schedule doesn’t care about.

Ruiz-Flores also notes what she’s seen from other students as well.

“Some other kids end up actually calling the First Student number like ‘hey our bus is always late’ and we always get the same answer: ‘it’ll be there shortly, like seven minutes.’ Really, it’s like 15. A lot of kids end up sitting on the curb. They get frustrated,” Ruiz-Flores said.

She also made a point on how she feels about how the school and First Student are treating this problem. Ruiz-Flores understands they are working on it, but says that DGS has had this problem for a year.

She added a final statement to DGS and First Student.

“In the nicest way possible, get it together,” Ruiz-Flores said.