Riding the school bus to school has several advantages. One, it saves gas, which in these times of high gas prices is very important. Two, it allows parents to sleep longer, as they would no longer have to drive their kids to school and back every day. Three, the decrease in morning school traffic would help ease road congestion, and with it the accompanying road rage and shooting incidents. Considering these advantages, why aren’t more kids riding the bus?
One reason may be hygiene. “Sometimes when I get on the bus I feel like vomiting. It might have something to do with the pool of vomit that's usually under my feet.” says Freshman Ima Hurl. Parents also share safety concerns. A common complaint, besides the frequent late buses, is the bullet holes that have been showing up more and more often on the sides of the buses. This has led some cynics to believe that the Mafia, in an attempt to downsize and slash their budget, has been using the vehicles on certain missions. When questioned, the Mafia denied this charge. Jack Screwer, the Mafia public affairs liaison, strongly denies the accusation, saying, “[we] do not use the school buses for private reasons. The buses are reserved solely for the transportation of children and heroin.”
However, another safety concern commonly raised is the operation ability and old age of the buses. Lato Redy tells, “I used to ride the bus to school as a student. After I graduated, I got my first job as a bus driver, driving the same bus I used to ride. Nowadays, my kid rides that same bus as well. I really respect the ‘like father like son’ stuff, but I just don’t think it should apply here.”
In this increasingly hip hop era, another strong reason put forth for the unpopularity of school buses is the appearance school bus itself. The drab yellow cheese buses simply aren’t PIMP. Explains Snoop Doggy Dogg, “I can’t let my kizzles ride in that pizzle sizzle my nizzle. Fa shizzle.” He proposed at a recent PTA meeting that they do a special Pimp My Ride: School Bus edition. The motion was barely defeated by a 78-72 margin.
However, critics of school bus reform point out that the bottom line is money. Ben Dover, the official in charge of school transportation in Miami-Dade County explains, “In these harsh economic times money is hard to come by. We simply cannot afford to buy new tires or repair leaky ceilings and defunct air conditioning. I'm extremely sorry but we're all going to have to make some sacrifices. Just think of our troops in Iraq, and the hardships they go through every day.” Then he excused himself and drove off in his new Porsche 911, saying he was late for a weekend golf outing with his “Big M” friends.