CFHS Bus News: Opinions from Inside and Out


Justin McAuley, Staff Writer / Silver Streams Editor

Recently, the buses at Carolina Forest High School seem to be more full than ever. With a new Freshman Class almost 1000 strong, many students have one question on their mind: what comes next?

This question makes itself especially apparent in a new survey sent out by The Prowler about the buses. In this survey, the opinion was split about equally between students who had an overall negative experience with the buses (32 out of 63), and students who had an overall neutral or positive experience with the buses in the past two weeks. The buses are certainly a confusing and polarizing experience for many students at CF this year.

In the survey, many students who had negative opinions about the bus pinned their frustration on the bus office. To help resolve the confusion surrounding this, I conducted an interview with our bus supervisor, Ms. Gloria Ridgeway and her two assistants, Mr. Dan Peterson and Ms. Rebecca Williamson. They helped clarify what the bus office is and isn’t responsible for.

The bus office has many responsibilities, including: making the routes for students, rearranging students to make sure buses are safe, inspecting buses, and delivering bus footage to the principal when necessary. However, these responsibilities can often be cumbersome to the bus office. The bus office doesn’t only control CF’s buses — but all the buses in the Carolina Forest attendance area, which includes several elementary and middle schools, as well as an alternative school. However, I was assured that we can trust the bus office to attend to the buses. 

“We’re working very hard to relieve the overcrowding and the lateness of the buses,” Ms. Ridgeway said.

“It’s going to be challenging, but we’re going to make it positive,” Mr. Peterson added.

Many students cited specific reasons for what caused their negative experience with the buses. Common reasons included loudness, lateness, and heat. 

For example, one student had this to say:

“I like talking to my friends; [however], I don’t like how packed it is and how hot it is [due to] the lack of AC.”

Ms. Ridgeway addressed these problems specifically. She clarified that the bus office has no control over whether or not the buses have AC, as the bus office receives a set of buses provided by the state. She did add, however, that the bus office does their best to use the buses with AC as much as possible to provide comfort for the students. Additionally, Ms. Ridgeway cited a number of reasons as to what causes overcrowding on buses: students coming back from virtual school, an influx of new students to schools in the Carolina Forest attendance area (including elementary and middle schools), and a shortage of available bus drivers. However, she said that the bus office is working hard to overcome the crowding, and they’re reorganizing buses as much as possible in order to have evenly distributed, safe buses that get students home in a timely manner. Buses stick to a schedule; however, they have no control over technical problems that may interfere with bus arrival or departure times. Lights, traffic, closed roads, or mechanical problems with the buses often prevent them from getting to their destination on time. The bus office’s priority is to maneuver around these issues as best as they can, while maintaining safety. A special emphasis was placed on safety, as it’s one of the main concerns of the bus office. The bus office does everything within their power to maintain an environment on buses where students can expect to get to and from school safely every day.

Ms. Ridgeway assured me that any issues with buses will be resolved as quickly as possible with strong respect paid to safety. She asked students to remain patient while the bus office continues to work hard on addressing concerns. Many people in the bus office have decades of experience, a fact which allows us to be calm and patient while we trust them to continue to work hard.