Every morning, communications senior Kristina Robinette wakes up at 5:45 to catch her bus—only to be dropped off at school nearly an hour before the first bell.
On many afternoons, she waits for the C109 overflow bus to arrive to school long after her friends have driven off. Her dependence on the bus fills everyday travels with perpetual uncertainty.
“I completely depend on bus transportation to get here. If something happens, where it’s totally late, there’s nothing I personally can do to make a difference for my life,” Robinette said. “There are so many times I’ve had to text my [boss] and say, ‘Hey, I don’t know if I’m going to make it on time.’ I have a corporate job. It’s not a family business, [so] I could get fired because of the bus system.”
None of the issues Robinette faces are new. While The School District of Palm Beach County has taken actions to address them through both policy and budgeting, many of these problems—from the district’s difficulty with recruiting and retaining bus drivers to the lack of functioning A/C units on buses—are tied to a common thread: lack of funding allocated toward the district’s buses.