WHS Faces Late Bus Complications

Alex Ryan, Reporter

Woodbridge High School students have recently been facing late bus complications due to a mixture of scheduling, new drivers, and bus stop locations issues due to COVID-19.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, bus drivers have had to seek other employment due to being laid off by school districts, or deciding to leave their positions. About 20% of New Jersey bus drivers did not return to their positions after being laid off during quarantine (Patch).

Woodbridge Township alone had to merge about a dozen of its normal bus routes. However, WHS maintained having two late bus routes that bring students to either Fords or Port Reading and Sewaren. 

On a normal day, the late bus arrives at WHS at around 4:10 P.M. However, according to Tara Mahon, it did not come until 4:45 P.M. during the days she had to take it. 

“When I got on the bus, the first thing I noticed was the driver was new and he didn’t have the sign that said all the stops the late bus for the Fords area had. In a usual encounter the driver would ask which stop we needed and write it down. When I of course went up and stated where I lived, he did not know where it was,” Mahon said. 

There have been other occurrences where the late bus has not arrived until as late as 6:30PM. 

A big reason for these kinds of errors have been the shortage of drivers, as well as new drivers covering routes they are unfamiliar with.

“I got home around 5:20 I believe, it was dark. Important to note, my stop is on a normal day, one of the first few to be dropped off. But he wasn’t a bad driver and he was nice,” added Mahon. 

The few errors that occurred with scheduling and with routes and stop locations have seemingly been rectified, as there have been no other issues since these occurrences and the late bus scheduling and routes have returned to being on time, and stopping at the right places in order. 

It appears that the errors in timing and locations were the result of new drivers adapting to the new schedules and routes they were driving.