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Palisade Paw Post

Palisade Paw Post

Bus driver shortage impacts on D51

Students riding bus 60, some lucky to get seats for themselves. Photo provided by Ian Shiao

All across District 51, students are being affected by the crowded buses and scarce transportation routes. Those who are unable to receive transportation to school are put at a disadvantage. Considering the decrease of drivers, there are less opportunities for students to get to school. Kids rely on public transportation and if they don’t have a bus to ride, school is inaccessible. The reason for the dwindle of drivers include the long standing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, declining wages and the ultimate responsibilities that come with the job. Transporting students from Point A to B is not easy. Drivers must foresee possible hurdles and care for the safety of each kid. There are many precautions that drivers must undergo, including the many background checks and commercial driver’s license. The vacancies of drivers affects the whole district. It lowers attendance rates and prevents growth. 

Bus 60 delivers IB participants from the Mesa County Public Central Library, straight to Palisade High School. 61 starts at the library, picks up more IB students near Grand Mesa Middle School in Clifton and then drops off at PHS. Kids trudge onto the bus and struggle to find space for not only themselves but also their backpacks, lunch boxes, projects, sports equipment and instruments. Pre DP student Ian Shiao rides 61 in the morning and 60 in the afternoon. He expresses, “It’s a bit frustrating because we’re in August and it’s 90 degree weather, so it makes the bus even hotter whenever you’re having to cram with three people to a seat.” Recently, Non-IB students have opted to ride these buses because there aren’t many routes available to their area or it is simply a more convenient path to get home. “I do understand that people don’t have a bus ride and they need to get on these buses,” Shiao sympathizes. D51 is currently hiring more drivers and improving the problem. Shiao shares, “I think D51 should implement more routes based in Junction.” Fortunately, more students are able to receive transportation and seats to themselves.

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Gaby Suazo
Gaby Suazo, Staff Member
Hi, I’m Gaby Suazo and I am a sophomore. This is my first year writing for Paw Post and I am so excited to share what I am passionate about! Other than writing, I enjoy dancing, thrifting, hiking, listening to music (Tame Impala, boygenius, SZA, Adrianne Lenker, Tyler, the Creator) and eating pesto pizza.
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