The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

Opinion: Our School Bus System is Broken


Riding the bus is a big part of school and American culture overall. It is an experience that shapes every kid who isn’t lucky enough to get a ride to school. Having been such a school staple for so long, it raises a significant question: Why is riding the bus known as such an awful experience?

Niles West’s current system is at best, a little confusing, and at worst, a complete mess. At the end of the day, buses line up near the South Lobby in two lines, which have no definite order or spots. This makes it nearly impossible to even find your bus in the first place.

In an effort to combat this, Niles West started posting QR codes where students can scan them and find their buses through a website that has a diagram, which shows where the buses are located. This would be a great addition if they actually functioned properly. For example, the other day I was taking the bus home and wanted to stay inside because of the 99-degree heat, so I stayed in the building and used the bus locater. My bus was half an hour late, and when the website finally said that it had arrived, I walked outside, and a security guard told me that it had left a few minutes before. Luckily, my parents were able to pick me up, but most students relying on the bus don’t have any other way to get home. Using this website causes more problems than it solves.

Most of the time, buses are delayed because the drivers are coming from another route or wading through traffic, so students will stand outside for 20-30 minutes, walking around and checking bus numbers. Because the bus locater website doesn’t work, waiting inside and using this time to get books from the library or to do homework in the South Lobby isn’t an option.

Being a school located in Illinois, these problems are especially pressing due to the extreme weather we face. This past week, the temperature was in the 90s, so waiting for half an hour in that kind of heat can be dangerous for many.

To fix Niles West’s bus problem, they need to either make sure the bus locater is always working, without delays, or have a system where every bus is in a certain spot and on time. This second option may be difficult due to every bus arriving at different times, but something has to change.

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  • M

    Muhammad AmmarDec 21, 2023 at 12:48 PM

    And this doesn’t even begin to cover long waits for pickups, irregular bus timings, unprofessional drivers, false drop offs. I’ve had to walk for up to a quarter mile before because the bus never went to my stop.

    And their attitude is horrible if you have the audacity to call them.

  • I

    I hope a tragedy doesn’t happen to make them wake up! L. StierleAug 30, 2023 at 6:27 PM

    I hope the right people read your article!
    I hope a tragedy doesn’t happen to make them wake up!