Ministry Encourages More Use of School Buses

October 11, 2010

Today [Oct 11] the Ministry of Tourism and Transport launched a public appeal to principals and parents of students attending Bermuda’s schools to ensure their children take advantage of the dedicated school buses provided by the Ministry.Currently the buses run from the various schools to the east and west ends of the Island as opposed to operating out of the central terminal.

Bermuda_Bus

The appeal comes following ongoing public complaints being filed with the Ministry and the Department of Public Transport regarding the volume of school students who congregate at central terminal, and congest the regularly scheduled buses during peak commuter periods. Meanwhile, available space on the dedicated school buses goes unused on a regular basis.

A Ministry spokesperson said:

We are looking for the public’s cooperation on this matter. It is really up to parents to encourage their children not to come into Hamilton after school but rather to take the school bus and go home. In these circumstances, it is difficult to continue to justify the provision of underutilized equipment. However the Ministry will continue to assess school usage and should the under-utilization of dedicated school buses situation persist, adjustments to the school bus programme may be required.

A recent complaint filed with the Ministry says:

It is extremely difficult to move through the terminal area with so many school children there, many who have gathered just to socialize with their friends…school children need their own buses and should not be allowed on city buses – mornings when we are all trying to get to work, or in the evenings.

The Ministry advised that dedicated school buses are available to and from the following schools:

Private Schools

  • Bermuda High School
  • Bermuda Institute
  • Mount Saint Agnes
  • Saltus Grammar School
  • Somersfield Academy
  • Warwick Academy

Senior Schools

  • Berkeley Institute
  • CedarBridge Academy

Middle Schools

  • Clearwater Middle School
  • Dellwood Middle School
  • Sandys Secondary Middle School
  • T. N. Tatem Middle School
  • Whitney Middle School

Primary Schools

  • Elliott Primary
  • Francis Patton Primary
  • Harrington Sound Primary
  • Heron Bay Primary
  • Northland Primary
  • Paget Primary
  • Prospect Primary
  • Purvis Primary
  • Victor Scott Primary
  • West End Primary
  • West Pembroke Primary
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Comments (11)

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  1. island girl says:

    My son attends one of the Private schools listed and he is a regular user of the service. I would like to clarify that while they do have a dedicated bus that collects students from the West End, there is no such service for students living in the East End and students are therefore forced to use a regularly scheduled service. I must stress that I am very pleased with this service!
    Also, there is no dedicated service for this particular school for the journey home in the afternoon. The students who do take the bus do so with students from 2 other schools in the area or use the regularly scheduled service buses. My son has mentioned several times since school began in September that the school bus has not shown and he has had to catch the next scheduled bus.
    My son does not travel into Hamilton after school as a rule because of the craziness that I have witnessed and experienced at the Hamilton Bus Depot. Instead he will change buses at a location well out of the city for the journey home.

    • Observer says:

      I applaud you “Island girl” for the stand you have taken in rearing your child to do the right thing. At 5pm when the majority of the workforce leave the office for home, it’s most disturbing to see school children gathered at the terminal socializing with no intentions of getting on the bus to go home. I also see loads of school children gathered outside and in the street surrounding the KFC. This is unacceptable behaviour.
      Parents please take responsibility for the whereabouts of your child/children.
      Why is it only the public schools that are seen congregating in these areas? I do understand that there are special circumstances where a child has to come into Hamilton for an appointment etc. but for the amount of children I see on a daily basis, there has to be some control from the parent/s.
      This is not about PUBLIC schools vs PRIVATE schools, it’s about parental guidance

  2. Nicki says:

    There are not enough buses for the public schools. 95% of public school kids aren’t as lucky as 90% of the private school kids to be dropped off and picked up after school. They have to fight to get a seat on the bus, they need to set aside some buses for particular schools and paint them the school colors, maybe even just the middle and high schools. In regards to the children who gather in town they should be made to get on a bus and go home. I don’t understand why they allow them to loiter outside of KFC and at the bus terminal. It has been going on for years. Either make it hard for the parents or make it hard for the students. Longer school days or make the parents responsible for their children who hang around after school doing nothing but getting in the way. They passed a law similar to that not long ago making parents responsible for what their children do so something needs to be done.

  3. Swan says:

    When they first mentioned that bus rides will be free for students I saw problems with them hanging out in the City. The easiest solution would be to make only the buses leaving and arriving at the school free. If a student ends up in the city then he or she should pay at least the student fare. After 5pm (if not accompanied by a parent or has a work pass)then they pay adult fare. That should keep the terminal free of students after (and before) school.

    • Scott says:

      i like this thought. Would have to be worked for those with after-school commitments such as sports/music/tutoring/work(as you noted) etc.

      As most know in the states, there are big orange school buses (no i dont think we should paint ours), and they run in the morning and in the afternoon after school. They do not run all day nor do they run in the early evening. If a kid does not use it in those hours, their transport becomes getting a ride with family, paying for a bus, or walking. I think a similar thing should be amended here.

  4. sm says:

    Last night, my bus driver wouldn’t let anyone in a school uniform on, and this morning the bus driver drove right by the kids in uniform. This isn’t something I’ve noticed before — is there a new policy about allowing kids on ordinary/non school buses?

    • D says:

      That happened to me a lot growing up as well. Individual bus drivers were fed up. They would simply not stop or would verbally say that no school can get on the bus until all the adults are on. This started around 4pm. I used to get on anyway cause they could not enforce that at the time.

      • Changes says:

        I have a child that attends one of the public primary schools and I have made a complaint with PTB because the bus was just driving across the school children (in uniform) waiting at the bus stop. I was told that the school does not have a bus assigned to it and the bus that comes across is a ‘courtesy’ bus. So if they want the kids to get on the bus, it would help if they actually STOP at the school.

      • sm says:

        Interesting. I’ve seen bus drivers yell at kids or make them let the adults on first, but never refuse to take them. That seems unlikely to help with the original problem of chaos at the bus terminal after school.