Buckle up: COVID-19 guidelines impact student bus rides to school

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UNSPLASH PHOTO COURTESY OF JOSHUA HOEHNE

Due to COVID-19 concerns many students have altered routes to school.

Julia Homza

With the number of COVID-19 cases growing in many states across the country, the safety of schools, especially school buses, is an ongoing point of contention between parents, students, and government officials. Many CHS students are still taking the bus this year as they normally would. 

“While there’s no temperature check or hand sanitizer, that doesn’t concern me because we already fill out a form before school telling the school we have a low temperature,” said sophomore Joseph Wicke of Freehold. 

He also noted that in order to social distance, everyone has their own seat.

The impact on some students’ bus routes have been greater than others, according to sophomore Ayumi Skyes of Tinton Falls. 

“Most of the Tinton Falls/Eatontown kids get picked up in one of two busses and transfer onto the same bus at [Monmouth Regional],” Sykes said. “Then we pick up one more Tinton Falls kid, and then pick up Neptune kids which is a royal pain.” 

Last year, Monmouth Regional had two buses that went straight to CHS and did not pick up the Neptune students.

Other students are choosing to be driven to school. Sophomore Alexa Chicon of Shark River Hills is being driven for the sake of convenience and said that she doesn’t think driving and riding the bus are equally safe. 

Sophomore Mary Jodry of Neptune City also said that driving puts her mind at ease.

“When riding the bus, you don’t know if it has been properly cleaned, if the bus driver is conscious of COVID restrictions, or if the people on the bus are willing to follow the given safety guidelines,” she said.

Many juniors and seniors that are able to drive themselves this year are taking advantage of that opportunity. 

When students were asked how they felt about the safety of buses in comparison to driving, there were mixed responses. Francesca Mccaffrey said “I don’t really think there’s a definitive answer to that…” The senior from West Long Branch also commented “Personally, I felt safe on my bus last year, I just prefer to drive alone.”