By Albert Hu,
Each school morning, a slew of about 30 Davis High students rely on Unitrans to bring them safely, efficiently, and on time to school. However, issues with Unitrans’ T and P Bus Lines have caused DHS student riders to face problems being late to class.
According to Interim Principal Tom McHale, prior to Sept. 1, the T Bus Line, meant specifically for transporting junior high and high school students, was consistently arriving late to DHS, not meeting its scheduled 8:07 arrival time, and causing about 20 students to be tardy each day. Responding to this news, DHS excused these tardies and Unitrans modified the T line’s schedule to arrive at DHS 14 minutes earlier.
However, even amidst these changes, Unitrans buses continue to cause problems for DHS students.
Sophomore Emma Taylor is a regular rider of the P Bus Line, which is supposed to arrive at DHS every morning at 7:56. However, according to Taylor, the bus is about 15 minutes late every day.
Junior Isa Palacio takes the same bus line as Taylor and echoes her sentiments.
“[Taylor and I] have to get off at the [14th and B Street] bus stop, right in front of the Veterans Memorial Center because the bus always arrives between 8:10 and 8:15,” Palacio said. “We haven’t even tried getting off right in front of the school [because it arrives there even later], so we have to get off earlier and run across the parking lot to get to school on time.”
This makes it difficult for Taylor to prepare for the day ahead.
“It can be really challenging; since I don’t have enough time to get across campus there’s not enough time to get stuff from my locker which makes it harder for me to get what I need for my first few classes in the day” Taylor said.
In addition, the late bus causes Taylor issues for her first period dance class.
“Sometimes the locker room is locked before 8:15 so you can’t get your clothes if you come in [barely before the bell rings],” Taylor said. “If you don’t have your clothes you lose your points for the day and get an unexcused tardy which affects your grade”
While the bus has only caused Taylor to be late once this year, she has had many close calls that she says otherwise would not have happened if the bus arrived on time.
Likewise, Palacio has had many close calls. While she hasn’t been tardy yet, she has had to sprint to her first period Environmental Science class many times, almost always coming in to class after the two minute warning bell. “Being late makes me worry, since I don’t want to be late and I don’t want it to possibly influence my [participation] in athletics” Palacio said.
Palacio and Taylor have also tried the new updated T Bus line. However, according to them, the T line buses were also off schedule, arriving at about the same time as the P line.
“[The T line bus] still came 10 minutes late and got to school [between] 8:10 and 8:15 […] it didn’t really make a difference” Palacio said.