The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

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Students who take the metro to and from school face issues with participating in after school activities

Loy+Norrix+students+board+the+Metro+after+school.+This+is+an+alternative+way+for+students+to+get+to+work+or+home+after+school.+
Credit: Alice Damashek
Loy Norrix students board the Metro after school. This is an alternative way for students to get to work or home after school.

Many students practically live at school. From 7 a.m. to 4, 5, or even 6 o’clock and sometimes even later, students may stay after school because of activities, whether it be sports, clubs or theater. 

Loy Norrix offers many opportunities for students to express themselves through these after-school activities. However, these activities are not accessible for all students because of the issue of transportation. For some students, staying after school is almost impossible, or when they need to stay after, the Metro bus may be the only reliable transportation source available.  

One of the highest ridership reasons why people use public transportation is to get to school, that’s high school or college students too,” said Executive Director at Metro Sean McBride. “Sixteen to twenty-two year olds comprise about 20% of our bus ridership.” 

Senior Kaya Perry would have been interested in after school activities, but she has a hard time finding transportation.

“Getting the whole high school experience is hard,” said Perry. “It’s my last year, and I would have liked to do something after school or help out with Green School, but I’m unable to.”

Although after-school activities are not impossible, it’s still hard to manage when students have limited access to transportation. 

Sophomore Salinah Duckett is on the track team, but she struggles with making it to practices.

 “If I left something at home. I’d have to go back home, and it would take like an hour and thirty minutes to come back, and I might be late to practice. Being late to practice affects my performance,” said Duckett.

A lot of students stay after school for sports, office hours, clubs, theater, and more, but for students who rely on the Metro, this can be complicated.

“I’ve had some people say they can only do a play if someone were to give them a ride everyday,” said Dan Lafferty, English teacher, drama coach, improv supervisor and play/musical director.

School ends at 2:20 p.m., but most after-school activities, clubs and athletic practices start around 2:30 p.m.

“I stay after school all the time for practice. Practice is usually 2:45-3 or 4, and I usually have to wait until 4:45 for the Metro to come,” said Duckett.

Being late to practice isn’t the only issue that transportation can affect. Some teachers offer office hours or test retakes which often occur after school, but this can be inaccessible for some students.

 “If I had to retake a test after school, I couldn’t, or I’d have to wait for my family to get out of work,” said Perry. 

Using the Metro in the morning also has its problems because of the infrequency of bus routes. If a student were to miss the bus, they would be missing out on significant class time. The Metro bus comes every hour, so if a student misses the 6:15 a.m. bus, they will have to wait until 7:15 a.m. to get onto the next bus. 

“Especially in the mornings, if I miss the bus, I’m late to the 1st and possibly 2nd hour. I was once late to 3rd hour too,” said Duckett.

Duckett and Perry both agree that changes or improvements to the transportation system would be beneficial to students who use the Metro. 

“I feel like they should have a better system for transportation,” said Perry.

“The Metro comes around 2:35 p.m. and it usually comes back around. If you miss the second one, you have to wait like an hour.”

 The Kalamazoo Foundation of Excellence pays for student bus passes for the Metro Youth Mobility program. The Metro offers this program to help students with this free service.

The base rate for riding the bus is $1.50 unless you’re in Youth Mobility,” said McBride. 

To get into the Youth Mobility Program, you have to go through your school counselor. 

There are a lot of other ways we can improve the issue of transportation. This issue isn’t just a city issue, it’s an issue within our community. Drama coach Dan Lafferty has some ideas on how to address these concerns.

“I think we can do ride sharing programs, do a better job of advertising the bussing system,” said Lafferty. “We can also educate people about this issue so other people in the community can find ways to make it less car-centric.”

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About the Contributor
Alice Damashek, Business Manager
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Bello!! My name is Alice and I'm a Sophomore this is my first year in Knight life. The reason I am in Knight Life is because I like literature. In my free time I like to make art. I am really passionate about helping my community in any way I can as well.

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    IsabellaFeb 2, 2024 at 11:28 am

    Great reporting!

    Reply