Students readjust to bus routes, reflect on ‘sense of community’


Photo credit: Cadence Callahan

Buses arrive promptly at 3:00 p.m. to pick up students at the end of the school day. Archer has been working with Tumbleweed Transportation for over 10 years to provide buses to all of its students.

By Cadence Callahan, Voices Editor

Community members hear the sound of big engines as buses pile in front of the veranda at the end of the school day. Students rush to find their favorite seat next to the window or near the aisle. With the start of the school year, students have been refamiliarizing themselves with their bus routes and drivers. 

Freshman Stella Lealand rides bus 800 when getting to and from campus. Leland said she has a relatively relaxed bus environment and rarely arrives at school late. 

“At the beginning of the bus ride — or end of it — depending on if it’s the morning or afternoon, it’s not a lot of people, so it’s calm and nice,” Leland said. “Once we get to the biggest stop in the Palisades, in less than two minutes the bus is full, and it’s a little chaotic. It’s a little stressful after that, but Archer is only 10 minutes from that stop, so it’s not too bad.” 

Archer has been working with Tumbleweed Transportation for the last 10 years to create routes and provide buses to all of its students. Each summer Archer sends a transportation registration form for families to complete. The form allows parents to view the local bus stops and select the most convenient location. According to Archer’s Director of Security and Transportation Yoshi Wilson, Archer will add and remove stops depending on the number of students in the area. 

“We can change routes if we get a bunch of students in one area,” Wilson said. “If we had 40 students in Manhattan Beach, we would more than likely have a bus that would go there, but because we don’t have that many [students], it’s just a few stops.”

The Oracle sent a survey to the student body to hear about their specific experiences while riding the bus. Students were given the opportunity to respond in multiple-choice format to statements regarding their connections to their peers, and overall ridership experience, and were given the chance to explain their answers in a short response format. Out of 505 students, 128 responded.

This inforgraphic displays students’ responses to the survey sent on Sept. 19. (Photo Credit: Cadence Callahan)

When asked if they felt connected to their peers on the bus on a scale from one to three, one being true and three being not at all true, 21.09% of students responded with one, 20.3% responded with three and 58.59% of students said the statement somewhat applied to their experience on the bus.

“No one talks to each another except if they are friends, but most people are on their phones. I am only close friends with two people on my bus, and we rarely get to sit next to each other,” a respondent wrote.

Another student commented on their morning routine and arrival time, highlighting the lack of seating on their bus.

“My stop is earliest in the morning which means getting up earlier than others. Also, there are so many people on my bus that sometimes we need to sit in threes — it would be nice for once if I could just sit alone with my two big bags,” the respondent wrote.

Some students expressed they created positive connections with their peers while riding the bus. According to senior Chloe Terani, she has made several connections with students outside of her grade due to the face that they ride the same bus.

“I actually started talking to a bunch of people I would have never spoken to had it not been for us riding the same bus. I get to see and talk to a lot of people who are younger than me, so I can build relationships with people outside my grade,” Terani said. “Last year, I used to sit next to this little seventh grader, and we actually had fun conversations. She told me about her pets, and we would do homework together.”

Senior Samantha Garibaldi uses bus 805 to get to and from campus. Garibaldi reiterated a respondent’s statement, describing the former state of her bus when she first began attending Archer. 

“My bus has gone through a lot of character growth. When I first arrived at Archer, we had to sit three to a seat. With the summer heat, we were hot, melting on the bus,” Garibaldi said. “We used our voices and spoke to the faculty, letting them know about our problems and how they needed to be addressed. Nowadays, we have the luxury of sitting one to a seat as seniors. This has definitely improved my bus riding experience.”

Despite the previously crowded seats and hot weather, Garibaldi stresses the aspect of community and shared experiences while riding her bus. 

“I think the 805 bus has a lot of diversity and a sense of community. Our bus ride is about an hour, sometimes more than an hour long, but we all experience it together,” Garibaldi said. “We’re not alone, and we can relate to each other about it.”