Athletes carpool due to bus shortage

Athletes+carpool+due+to+bus+shortage

By Abby Bagby, Co-Sports Editor

With the current nation-wide bus shortage, athletic transportation has suffered substantial changes, leaving some sports without any buses at all. Many fall athletes have been taking team travel into their own hands, or cars, for that matter.

Numerous fall sports teams have adapted to the transportation issue by carpooling. The girls’ cross-country team, for example, uses GroupMe, a free group messaging app, to coordinate their travel plans. Any teammate who needs a ride to a practice or match is assigned a senior on the team who can provide one. Freshman Danielle Ostroff, a member of the JV cross-country team, appreciates the team carpool.

“I like it. I think (it’s) because we get super close with the people that we drive with,” Ostroff said.

The boys’ golf team has also resorted to carpooling to practices and matches, as they have yet to be provided with a bus this season. Parents of the team members, as well as teammates themselves, have organized group chats to determine who is charged with drop-off and pick-up for events. Sophomore Sachin Blake prefers school-provided transportation, due to the hassle that self-coordinated travel has caused for many parents.

“If you have parents that work jobs, it’s really hard to fit (carpooling) in the schedule, and getting dismissed from school on time is a lot harder with the carpooling and everything,” Blake said.

However, he does enjoy the opportunity to get to know the team outside of practices and matches. 

“It (carpooling) has been nice because I’ve been able to meet kids that are older than me that I might not (have known) as well on the golf team if it was just pure golf. But, it’s also really inconvenient not having the buses because parents have to drive people around. It’s not easy,” Blake said.

The girls’ tennis team has also fallen victim to the bus shortage and created a team carpool, with upperclassmen providing rides as necessary. The team is exclusively provided buses for matches that are at least an hour away, which, so far, has only been one. Junior Isabella Chen of the girls’ varsity tennis team is disappointed by the lack of buses available this season.

“I think we (tennis team) all actually really enjoy the bus rides because we play music, we eat snacks, and we all just bond together more than four people in a car,” Chen said. “The bus rides are definitely the highlight of the season, which we haven’t had in the past two seasons.”

Senior Sophia Mabilais, one of the drivers of the girls’ tennis carpool, shares the same concern as Chen regarding the social effect of the lost bus rides.

“I wish we had the buses because, in years past, we would always blast music and the whole team would be together,” Mabilais said. “I think everyone misses the bus a little bit, because when we had the bus one time (this season) we all had a lot of fun.”

While Mabilais does enjoy the flexibility that self travel provides, she still believes that the bonding that takes place on team buses is irreplaceable.

“I definitely think there’s freedom with driving myself because, if I have time, I can stop and get Starbucks or something,” Mabilais said. “But, I’d rather be on the bus with all my teammates.”


Abby Bagby can be reached at [email protected]