Fountain Valley High School is providing students an alternative way to get to school: a continuously running shuttle bus operated by Karmel Shuttles. There is no fee to ride, but all passengers must show their school ID cards before boarding, as the service is strictly meant for students.
The shuttle system makes its rounds from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays. The shuttles rotate between Dolphin Street and Starfish Street, but both bring (or pick up) students on Slater Avenue.
Each shuttle has two rows of seats for a total of eight students per trip. Students with bicycles are generally not allowed, so students who typically bike to school can still ride the shuttles, but they just can’t load on their bikes.
The majority of students who utilize the shuttle service have been affected by the bridge closure to get home if their usual route included the now closed Slater bridge.
Junior Skylar Sterbling takes the shuttle every day after school to a van stop near her house. It picks her up at Valley Vista High School or near the baseball fields shared by FVHS and VVHS and drops her off the Kindercare near Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley High School seven minutes.
“Sometimes the shuttle can be a bit slow. One time I had to wait about 10 minutes, but it is usually already there when I get ready to go home from practice,” Sterbling said.
She doesn’t face issues like crowding or waiting for additional buses to make the trip since she takes it after 3 p.m. For other students, the wait is much longer. In the mornings and afternoons, a crowd of students can be seen waiting for the shuttles. With each trip taking at least six minutes, finally boarding as the 32nd person could take half an hour.
“I have heard from a friend that people in the morning will push and shove to get on the shuttle,” Sterbling said.
While the shuttles indeed are a helpful alternative to the other transportation methods students rely on, there is definitely room for improvement in the system regarding wait time and space.