This year, to promote safety on the buses, the Tumbleweed Transportation Company is urging drivers and students to enforce and follow the official rules for the first time in many girls’ academic careers at Marlborough.
Although this strict enforcement has come as a shock to most girls, every student signs and agrees to the rules at the beginning of each year.
“Both parent and student sign the rules of conduct,” Auxiliary Services Manager Clinton Oie said, “and they have been in place for the last 14 years.”
Regulations range from mandatory seat-belt use to the prohibition of cell phones, profanity, shouting, eating, drinking and gum chewing. The bus company said they are now taking direct action to enforce these rules of conduct on every school bus.
“It’s not just for Marlborough,” said Cheryl Crump, Operations Manager and Supervisor for Tumbleweed. This year alone, the company has increased enforcement throughout the Los Angeles area for each school that they have a contract with, including Campbell Hall, Sierra Canyon School and Chaminade College Preparatory.
Rule enforcement on school buses typically depends on the driver, as some have been far more lenient than others in the past.
“My bus driver was really loose,” Wally ’15 said. “She used to let us eat and drink on the bus, but now she doesn’t let us because she was written up for it by a substitute driver. But there are still drivers who let people eat and drink on their buses.”
This inconsistency from driver to driver contributed to the crackdown.
“We’re watching them, especially when there are constant claims of drivers not doing the things they say to be,” Crump said. According to her, Tumbleweed staff members have been riding with and following buses to make sure they all enforce the code of conduct.
“They are definitely more strict,” Alana’12 said. “I used to like to get coffee before I got on the bus, but we are not allowed to bring hot drinks on the bus.”
The use of seat-belts is another rule now heavily enforced, according to students.
“If a driver has to stop immediately and a girl gets hurt, it’s our responsibility,” Crump said. “It makes our job easier when everyone follows the rules.”
Implementing the rules also cuts down on bus drivers having to pick up the items or trash left behind by girls on the bus. According to Oie, some drivers have become upset over the constant need to pick food and garbage up from the floor and the seats.
“With such a nice job we’ve done maintaining the campus and new building, we should be able to do the same on our buses, and I think we’re headed in the right direction,” he said.