Readers’ Matzav: The Bussing Saga



I was at the recent Lakewood, NJ, School Board meeting at which various concerns regarding school bussing were addressed. Clearly, there are improvements to be made, but sometimes people get so blinded by their emotions and frustrations that they fail to take the whole picture into consideration.

The past couple of days, including this morning, with snow falling, I drove around and observed bus drivers, bus pickups, bus routes and the overall state of bussing in Lakewood. Interestingly, most disturbing of what I witnessed had nothing to do with the bussing. It had to do with people’s general driving habits. Based on my count at various intersections, 8 out of every 10 drivers failed to come to a complete stop at stop signs. Most just rolled right through. Many drivers failed to give busses priority when making turns. I was quite disappointed.

As for the bussing, what I observed were bus drivers – frum, Jewish and non-Jewish ones – really working hard, trying their best to get their routes done quickly and safely. I observed one driver going out of his way to pick up some girls in a safer spot, even though it was greatly inconvenient for him. I observed another driver apologizing to a parent for coming several minutes late. I waited at several stops and watched how the bus drivers stopped their buses and conducted themselves. Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with them and their approach.

I am a parent and I have spent my share of cold winter mornings waiting for buses. I have had to drive my children to school a number of times when the buses didn’t come or were very late. I have had my share of frustrations. But at the end of the day, the drivers and operators are people. They are people who are trying to make it work. They are good, caring people. And they should know that. I don’t know if they read Matzav or if they will see this letter, so if you know a driver, share this letter with them and let them know that at least some of us recognize their efforts in transporting our children safely and with care.

And as for the rest of us, perhaps we should focus on our own driving habits. Let’s start with someone simple, like actually stopping at a stop sign.


D. D. L.

Lakewood, NJ


  1. Very well said! I agree 100%. And THANK YOU Matzav for printing this. There are some publications that thrive on being the negative voice & would never print this letter. And yes,I am a frustrated parent who has to drive to school because the bus doesn’t show up even on nice days!

  2. Its really admirable that you choose to have such an upbeat, positive attitude. I commend you.
    However, there is a serious problem with this bus company, and it needs to be resolved NOW.

    The drivers you observed rolling through stop signs have nothing to do with this issue. Nor does the hard working drivers have anything to do with this. This is a management issue, and one where the company bit off a lot more than it could chew.

    Nor is there anyone to talk to with customer service issues.

    Your positive attitude is great. Now let’s fix the problems!!

  3. I think it’s very nice that you posted this letter but I am sorry – a bus company has a schedule,it should be met,there should be a procedure for posting delays/cancellations,and there should be reasonable response when called. I have to say, i get nauseous, when you have to be thankful and polite and positively reinforcing that the bus driver is not a major clown who rides rampant on the streets. Your point that we all have to be careful about following traffic rules is certainly on the mark. People have to follow rules, and so do bus companies. I don’t think people are so upset when the bus driver comes a little late in bad weather, there are reasonable issues in life and we all know that bad weather will cause delays – but i think the frustration is about constant daily delays, unposted cancellations, and no response from the offices. I hate to be negative – but come on – do your job!!!

  4. great letter
    a kiddush hashem
    thank you
    i will be printing it out and handing it to my children’s bus drivers

    thank you very much

  5. to #5:Busing and bussing are both correct, referring to the movement of buses/busses- again, both are correct. The fact that the word buss can also carry a suffix of ‘ing’ has no bearing on the adding of a suffix to the word bus.