Rockwood Department of Transportation Introduces New Bus Routes

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  • Students gather as they board their buses.

    Media by Waha Siddiqui

  • Kevin McElvaney, bus driver for Rockwood, awaits the arrival of his student passengers as he looks over his route.

    Media by Waha Siddiqui

  • Students catch up with friends their friends before they have to board their designated buses.

    Media by Waha Siddiqui

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Sarah George, sophomore, has always had to walk far to get to her bus stop. Now, she doesn’t even mind the distance.

When she gets on the bus, she notices that it’s very crowded. Once again, she pushes the thought aside and goes to sit in an empty seat.

How do you feel about the new, rerouted system?

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George isn’t the only thinking about these new changes. Miles away, Maya Green, senior, is experiencing the same changes. Green lives in St. Louis City, and she has always been accustomed to waking up early for school and being on the bus for a while. For her, the only difference now is that there are some more people on her bus.

“It doesn’t bother me,” Green said. “It is not crowded. The district makes sure that everybody has their own personal space.”

This year, the Rockwood Department of Transportation rerouted buses after adopting a new mapping system and revisiting the new start times. Because of school starting later, bus drivers had less time to get to school.

With everything we have done to change the routing system, we always consider repercussions or how they would be perceived. We did what we had to do.”

— Mike Heyman

The department had to find a way to keep students on the bus for as little time as possible, so there are less stops per neighborhood and the new routes have led to some crowding.

Mike Heyman, director of the Rockwood Department of Transportation, says that the bus rerouting benefits Rockwood students as a whole. To him, students getting enough sleep and getting to school at an appropriate time are more important than individual concerns that some students may have.

“Nobody likes change,” Heyman said. “With everything we have done to change the routing system, we always consider repercussions or how they would be perceived. We did what we had to do.”

Kevin McElvaney has been a bus driver for Rockwood for 12 years and has not been impacted by the the bus rerouting. He worries most about the students, wondering if they are getting to class on time.

At the end of the day, George gets to school faster and does not have to wait as much before school starts.

“There is a significant amount of people on my bus now, and I’m okay with that,” George said.

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