Bus issues hinder RB athletics


Colin Daniels

A bus parked outside RBHS after school hours.

Aryan Hernandez, Staff Reporter

Riverside Brookfield High School has recently faced a bus shortage issue at the expense of the many student athletes participating in sports. From overcrowded buses to them not showing up at all, this problem has been an inconvenience to many.

With a lack of bus drivers hindering school bus networks across the country, RBHS has been greatly affected. Sports teams that regularly utilize buses for transportation have to wait excessive amounts of time for their buses to show up. That is, if they show up at all. Not only does this inconvenience coaches and their teams, but it limits the time that teams have to prepare before competitions and shortens practice time. Doug Schultz, math teacher and coach of the girls golf and softball teams, has experienced this issue for a considerable amount of time.

“To be consistent, I would like to have practice from 3:30 to 5:30, so when a bus that’s scheduled to pick us up at 3:30 doesn’t come out until 4:15, that takes away time for practice,” Schultz said. “So, it’s been detrimental where instead of getting a typical hour to hour [and] fifteen [minutes] of practice at the range, we’re getting about twenty five minutes of practice.”

Any dedication requires substantial practice time in order to master; this is particularly true for sports. Buses being late has only reduced the amount of time teams have to practice and enhance their skills in their sport. The athletes themselves are also doing their best to stay on top of their games, but it can be difficult with little practice. Lucy Boyle, a freshman on the girls junior varsity volleyball team, has experienced many team disruptions due to inconsistent bus times.

“It makes us very late to our games and makes us stressed out when we come to the games,” Boyle said. “It does make a very rushed atmosphere and makes everybody a bit more stressed. If someone is more stressed it makes the whole team dynamic a bit more stressed and we have to help support each other. If one person is feeling down, everyone feels it, but we have to try to work around it.”

Maria Ellis, a member of the Girls Swim team, has also had to deal with the problems this issue has caused. Not only has it frustrated her, but it makes her feel less valued as a student who puts in extra time for her sport.

“It really brings our morale down, especially our coach. It’s very frustrating especially when we are waiting outside for our bus for over an hour and four other sports teams’ buses come, but then ours never does,” Ellis said. “It doesn’t make us feel appreciated. It brings our whole energy down, we’re angry, we’re tired, it’s hot outside, it doesn’t do us any good.”

Not only has this affected the coaches and athletes, but it has also affected the families of the students.

“They [parents] are kinda mad because they don’t get to see us at home [until] late at night, and we usually get home pretty late when they don’t want to drive out,” Boyle said.

For Ellis, this particular problem caused by the issue hits close to home. Her family does their best to support her in swimming, but it hasn’t been easy to do so in the midst of this dilemma.

“At the meet where the bus didn’t show up, my grandparents actually came,” Ellis said. “My parents and my grandparents came to the meet thirty minutes early and we were an hour and a half late, so that’s two hours of my grandparents sitting near an empty pool and they’re in their eighties so that is very difficult for them. It’s even difficult for them just to get out there, so it’s enough for them to get out there and sit there. It can be very frustrating sometimes.”

As for a solution, options are limited. With a lack of bus drivers plaguing bus companies across the country, simply switching from one company to another isn’t as easy as it may seem for RBHS.

“There has got to be other solutions other than just using the same bus company that can’t pick us up, so that’s where I would like to be more creative,” Schultz said. “I know the school has looked into purchasing more minibuses. Maybe if we can start to look into different companies, something else that can provide us the service that we’re asking to be provided for.”