No School Bus Strike. Damn!

So the union representing Westport bus drivers has ratified a new contract. There won’t be a strike. Dattco buses will roll right along.

All week long, Westporters worried. A strike would have forced hundreds of students into their parents’ cars (joining the hundreds who are already driven every day).

The result, folks feared, would be even worse gridlock than usual on roads like Long Lots, North Avenue and Cross Highway.

But I thought a strike would actually help traffic.

Even all those additional cars would not make up for the status quo: Buses stop every 7 inches, picking up or dropping off young Alexander and Ashleigh at their very own, specially personalized bus stops, located at the foot of every driveway and lane in town.

C’mon, Dattco drivers: Are you guys sure you want to sign that contract?

13 responses to “No School Bus Strike. Damn!

  1. Well said, Dan! It’s sickening to see how few students are on the HUGE buses and that the taxpayers of this town are paying for 1/4 full buses. What a waste!

    • Words like “pathetic” and “sickening” should be reserved for serious matters.

      All the buses I’ve seen are more than a 1/4 full; but even at that rate, they are still more full than the commuter buses that run around town throughout the day.

      I wish the school bus would stop in front of my house for my kids.

      • PATHETIC (still)

        “Pathetic” is the feeling felt after reading Dan’s blog. The school buses stop at every other house…even when the school is a five minute walk. I’ve seen buses leave the elementary school on the Post Road West 75% empty. Seriously. Perhaps the town should invest in smaller buses for the routes that don’t require a larger bus. Hey, here’s an idea: Make one bus stop at the middle of the street. Think of the time (not only for the cars lined up behind the bus for each 50 yard stop, but kids could sleep in another 5 mins). There would be savings, too, of $ in gas (thus eliminating all of the stop and go). Re the commuter buses, there is probably 1 commuter bus for every 15 school buses; it’s hardly a comparison.

        • So Dramatic (Still)

          75% empty buses are not the norm by any means, and they do not stop at every other house (though I know it may feel like it at times).

          I think there are something like 70 daily riders for the commuter buses. I’d have to imagine that at least 1000 kids ride the buses; so maybe it is a valid comparison.

          That’s all for me, Pathetic.

  2. Frances S. White

    Nice, Dan!! Appreciate your humor on this wet, dreary day! Fran

    >________________________________ > From: 06880 >To: >Sent: Sunday, October 7, 2012 2:33 PM >Subject: [New post] No School Bus Strike. Damn! > > > >Dan Woog posted: “So the union representing Westport bus drivers has ratified a new contract. There won’t be a strike. Dattco buses will roll right along. All week long, Westporters worried. A strike would have forced hundreds of students into their parents’ cars (joini” >

  3. Actually in anticipation of this strike I was surprised to see how many kids actually WERE on the buses. Some get driven in the morning and take the bus home in the afternoon. Others vice versa, they get picked up for their many activity filled afternoons. Either way it would have been a disaster. And don’t forget. There are so many high schoolers, besides the seniors and juniors who are allowed to drive, who stay after school to participate in the many after school activities the high school provides. Their parents have to come pick them up at a later time, hopefully not all at the same time!! So the fact that they didn’t strike is a positive, but believe me there are kids on the buses!


  5. Chip Stephens

    Did you happen to get out and see all the groups of kids walking to school that morning ? Many of the kids that heard of the strike and knew there was school. They rallied and organized their cliques, posse, friends, whatever, and headed to school on foot, in spite of the strike that never happened.. It was a kick seeing the migration of kids to their schools, even though the strike was off, they saw the trek to school with their friends as an adventure, something social. If it wasn’t for the mandatory mom or two in the groups I would have sworn it looked just like an ordinary school day from the past when if you did not live at least a mile (elementary) or 2 miles away (Jr HI and High School) you were a walker.

  6. California had a law that if you were on a two lane road followed by 7 vehicles, you must pull over and let them pass. Wonder if we could try that in Westport.

  7. Dan, if our town would work on making the roads safer for kids, walkers, runners, bikers, etc. — by ticketing speeding trucks and BMWs and creating more shoulders and sidewalks — the buses wouldn’t have to stop “every 7 inches.” The sad truth is, it’s not safe for kids — let alone adults — to walk on most of the main roads in Westport.

  8. islandgirl3, I couldn’t agree more! We would love to walk or ride our bikes to town and school. The idea of having my kids walk or ride on Imperial Avenue makes me shudder. I do not feel safe doing so, and certainly wouldn’t let my kids at this point. I do wish we had more sidewalks-especially on the more curvy roads where safety really is an issue. It’s really a shame.

  9. Anothercitizen

    Also known as the Westport Limo Service

  10. Who’s putting up the money to add all of these sidewalks? Taxpayers shouldn’t have to be saddled with that enormous cost.

    The frequently traveled roads (Roseville, North Ave., Weston Rd, Wilton Rd, Compo, etc.) do feature sidewalks and when there is not, you can always count on the small side lane/bike path…which is to be shared between bikers and pedestrians. Duh!

    Why would we spend all of that money to add sidewalks on roads not frequently traveled? Reminds me of the bridge to nowhere… Just saying.

    Those who complain that it is “too dangerous” should put up the money to fund these modifications, which would be a luxury — not a right. As a taxpayer, you have the right to school bus service. But do you not have the right to a complimentary sidewalk on every road. That is a luxury in many towns.