The pickup time at every East Lyme bus stop was mandated to be 10 minutes ahead of schedule as of Sept. 17, making early mornings even earlier.
The bus troubles lie in the elementary school’s redistricting. Recent budget cuts took out two buses, leaving only 17 buses to accomplish roughly 50 stops each.
“This means some bus routes may be slightly longer than they used to be,” said Kimberly Davis, Director of Student Services. TLess buses resulted in later pick up times on bus routes, which is why buses now pick up students 10 minutes earlier.
Sophomore Evan Lombardo rides Salem bus 5, which comes at 6 a.m. It takes over an hour for the bus to bring him to school, despite the school only being 15 minutes away. Friends who are driven in are still under their covers while Lombardo is waiting outside in the dark.
“It’s so hard to concentrate in class because you’re falling asleep,” says Lombardo.
Another Salem resident, sophomore Cailyn Maiolo, shared similar concerns.
“I don’t really take the bus,” said Maiolo. Instead, she is driven to school by her brother.
“If he can’t, then my mom has to drive me in 15 minutes earlier to get to work on time,” she said.
Besides the early mornings, the complaint comes from the bus route itself. Sophomore James Conover argues that his bus route makes it feel like he is “backtracking down roads and going a different way each time.”
This change is something students need to adjust to. Unfortunately, students will need to dig deep to find patience and wakefulness during these earlier mornings.