I talked about bus routes in Charlotte a while back. I would have to assume that other cities have the same problem, but I could be wrong - I've lived here for a while now, so the rest of the world may just be a part of my imagination now.
Regardless, I've noticed that not only do I see the city bus stopping every few hundred feet, but the school bus will stop about as often. Worse, the bus stops almost as soon as it pulls out of the school. Seriously?
When I was in third grade, I couldn't wait to get to fourth so I could ride my bike to school. You see, I had to walk to school until fourth grade, and while until third grade it wasn't all that far, in third grade, it was close to a mile to school. In fourth grade, however, it meant I had the freedom that my bike brought with it.
I don't really understand the logic - I assume it meant that I was responsible enough to take care of my bike. These days, the first thought would probably be more like I was better able to speed away from any bad influence rather than being stuck without a reasonable means of escape.
Regardless, what troubles me is that a school bus pulls out, and perhaps a quarter mile away from the school, it stops to drop off the kids. I am not saying that all kids shouldn't ride the bus. I'm not saying that they need to walk ten miles, uphill (both ways) in the snow. I'm simply saying that in this case, I was passing by a middle school - this is junior high for those of you as old as I - and they can't walk a quarter of a mile? That is ridiculous.
Do we live in a different time? Sure we do. But perhaps the problem is that the school bus exists so that these kids have grown accustomed to getting a ride home when they live a measly quarter of a mile from the school. It's one thing to bus kids that have no way to get to school, if they are miles and miles away. But picking them up when they could walk there inside of ten minutes? That's crazy.
That says nothing of the traffic on the roads and the maintenance and storage of the buses that is required. Why not invest in some decent sidewalks - which surely will take money too - and be done with it?