Students choose to get on the bus

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By Elizabeth Hjelvik

Since Los Alamos is such a small town, getting from one place to another is pretty easy for most people, especially since Atomic City Transit, the county’s public transportation system, provides Los Alamos and White Rock residents with a free, eco-friendly way to get around. But despite the service, driving from White Rock to Los Alamos or to the ski hill, seems to be the best method of getting around.
Atomic City Transit has been running for more than three years and has routes that circulate through Barranca Mesa, North Mesa, White Rock, downtown, the Main Hill — and more recently — the ski hill and Bandelier.
The transit is free for everyone and has drivers that provide more than just a ride — they help riders get to where they need to be if they are not familiar with the routes.
The transit may be ideal for teenagers, since most cannot drive until they are 15; don’t choose to drive until they are 18; or just do not have access to a car.
Los Alamos teenagers typically use the bus to get to school or get home after school or sports practice, or they use the trolley (the downtown circulator) to get to Starbucks or the library to hang out with friends.
A Los Alamos High School student, who asked to remain anonymous, said that when she didn’t have her car, she would take the bus home from tennis practice and overall, it was very efficient, since she would be dropped off near her house around the same time every day.
However, she also said that every now and then, the bus would be late, but she was fine with it.
Another student, who also asked to remain anonymous, said that she would rather take the transit because she could save a ton of gas money and before she got her car, she used the bus system to her advantage.
She said that even though the bus drivers and other passengers were really nice and the buses were efficient, her experiences on the bus were hindered by students from the middle school who were “loud, obnoxious and talked about subjects that shouldn’t be discussed in a public place.”
Atomic City Transit provides rules for all the buses and if any passenger breaks these rules, they are asked to get off at the next stop.
Most of these rules are in place so that all passengers can have a pleasant experience on the bus. The second LAHS student said she has seen passengers getting kicked off because of improper behavior, but it was rare. She also said that the rules should be regulated more than they are now.
Overall, the Atomic City Transit seems to be a good means of transport for the Los Alamos community.
Some riders have said the drivers are nice, the buses are kept clean, and they are efficient and get people where they need to be.
However, they also said if the rules were more regulated to keep certain passengers in check, then the transit would be more enjoyable.
For information on the transit or routes, visit losalamosnm.us/transit/Pages/default.aspx.