Juneau needs more room on buses

Posted: Friday, September 12, 2008

Recently, I decided to do my part for energy conservation. After experiencing expensive car repairs this summer, I began to take the bus, and it saved me about $200 a month in gas and insurance. It had other benefits. I was actually able to read and study for the latter part of the summer - until school started.

Believe me, I have nothing against high school students, but I had to ask, "Why aren't they riding their own yellow buses?"

With about 20 people standing in the aisle on the way into town each morning from the Nugget Mall (on three different buses mind you), do you think it might be time to address this unsafe problem? We could definitely use another express bus in the morning. (I hear the Juneau Assembly just turned down a proposal for one.)

But if the city doesn't want to buy and use another bus, then let's address the 16-20 kids that get off my bus every morning at the high school.

Today, I heard these kids are on the city bus because they live in a location which deems they should attend the new high school. They have been allowed to continue to attend Juneau-Douglas High School until they graduate. This is great. (I wouldn't want to give up my school either.) But there are still high school buses busing kids from the Mendenhall Valley to town every day, and I have to ask, are they full? Can they swing by the Nugget Mall and pick up a few more?

Is there room for these 20 or more kids that squire a seat from us adults? (I have no idea how many other students get off the other two express buses or the one commuter bus each morning; so 20 is a very conservative count.)

Either way, please allow these kids the decency of a ride, instead of being treated like the stepchild of, well, all of us adults who have to stand and sway when the bus goes around a corner because all those seats we enjoyed all summer long are now full with kids who have no right to the yellow bus.

Short story long: It is dangerous when your bus driver calls in every morning that he is carrying 80, and the bus capacity is 60.

Alice Albrecht


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