Busing system may be worst thing in future (opinion column)

Chris Slattery

This is a message to my future son as a warning against a danger you will likely come up against in your future (a future that I hope has flying cars and a sequel to The Matrix that doesn’t suck): the Grand Valley State University busing system.

I know you will be required to use buses based on the fact that flying cars will be expensive; also, because everyone has to use the bus at some point. Classes will take place downtown, and your friends will be living in off-campus apartments, so be prepared for the horrors of buses. Sure, they seem innocent enough with their hybrid engines and their bizarre doors. But underneath that seemingly inviting (and free-of-charge) exterior lies a hostile interior full of disappointment and, worst of all, germs.

Assuming the future still has bus stops, you will have to wait at a designated area for approximately five minutes, which is longer than any college student should ever have to wait for anything, apart from fast food. You’ll probably be running late due to finishing up some homework assignment last-minute, but it is the bus driver’s responsibility to adhere to a schedule so you can arrive in class on time, only to fall asleep five minutes into the lecture. This is no time to wait a whole extra minute for a bus to catch up after getting delayed by rubberneck traffic on Lake Michigan Drive. It will then be your responsibility to whine and moan about how there needs to be more buses.

But as the saying goes, “Mo’ buses, mo’ problems.”

Once on a bus, you will likely be scrunched up against your peers. Don’t worry, I know your peers are all really gross people who never shower, and I know it is an absolute outrage that you should be forced to make even the slightest contact with their backpack. Your personal space is sacred, and the small amount of room on the bus should respect that.

And don’t get me started on being told to move to the back of the bus to accommodate more people. Everyone needs to understand that you are listening to your iPod, and you can’t be bothered with the complexities of repositioning yourself.

As soon as the bus is jam-packed full of students, then the bus drivers have the nerve — the NERVE — to try and start a conversation. Never mind that they are just trying to be nice and want to spice up their otherwise monotonous day. Why would they think that you have the time to engage in an interesting one-on-one?

Upon exiting the bus, you will probably notice that there are only two doors to walk out of. Don’t be alarmed, this is merely poor planning on the bus designer’s part. It may take up to 30 seconds after stopping to finally exit, but this is the world we live in.

Take care, son. Hopefully you live in a future where none of these issues continue to be problems.

[email protected]