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Bus stop blues

Dear Editor:I’m writing regarding the Basalt High School shuttle bus. This year, there have been problems with the location of the bus stop. First, the district transportation department moved it to the sidewalk across from the 7-Eleven in Basalt. However, they had to move it again, two days later, since the sidewalk was being blocked by high schoolers and the crosswalk was inaccessible. They then moved it to the 7-Eleven parking lot. This also became a problem, because the students were blocking store traffic and it was a safety hazard to the students as well. They moved it a third time, when school had only been in session for two weeks!This time the students had to wait on the road to the left of 7-Eleven. Afterward, the police became involved, and the stop was moved a fourth time. It is currently at the RFTA bus stop. I am utterly frustrated with this continual dilemma.First, I don’t understand why the bus stop was moved initially. Last year it was located at the middle school roundabout. This worked well for everyone. The students who had to walk from the RFTA stop, as well as those walking from Elk Run and other places in Basalt, had a reasonable distance to cover.There were no problems with the students stopping traffic or blocking up sidewalks, and there was no danger to them, because they were on school property.When I called the transportation department located in Glenwood, their response was that there was congestion in the middle school parking lot and they were trying to cut down on the number of buses that were driving in and out. I can understand these complaints and would agree with them if what they claimed was true.By the time the shuttle arrives at the school there are no buses present. Furthermore, the shuttle in both the morning and afternoon goes to the middle school. In the morning they drop of their busload of students before stopping near the 7-Eleven and in the afternoon they pick up middle and elementary school students after dropping the teenagers off. If the transportation department’s reason for not allowing students to get off at the middle school was congestion, why would the bus go there at all? I believe that students who live in Elk Run and old town Basalt should have the option of getting off and on at the middle school since the shuttle is already going there.In addition, every place where the stop has been moved has caused problems. Not only is it a problem for the bus driver, who has to get back into rush-hour traffic, but 7-Eleven and RFTA also have problems with a large group of high school students waiting as a pack. How many times will the bus stop move? Every time it gets farther and farther away from the original stop at the middle school. If the stop has been moved four times in just three weeks, then how many more times will it move throughout the year? Students are frustrated and veteran riders are now finding other means of transportation. Those of us who are forced to continue riding are confused as to why we have such trouble simply trying to get to school.I also wonder why a department located in Glenwood gets to call the shots. I’m well aware that the Roaring Fork School District has its headquarters in Glenwood Springs, but I see no reason why they should make decisions that affect Basalt schools only. Why should unaffected workers in Glenwood decide the fate of the students who attend BHS?I would like to see something done about this problem. This year has made me crave my license more than ever. If they are going to continue to run us around Basalt every week, wondering where the stop will be next, I feel they shouldn’t even have the stop. The transportation department needs to get organized and find a convenient location where students are safe and welcome to wait. I believe they should move it back to the middle school, but at this point I would be happy just having the stop in the same place for more than a week.Hanna KellyBHS sophomore


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