LACES Untied

LACES Untied

LACES Untied

Just Ask Z
Just Ask Z
May 28, 2024
Art by Lucas Lee.
SAT or SAT Free
May 23, 2024
Just Ask Z
May 23, 2024

Going the Extra Mile

A day in the life of LACES Bus Drivers

LACES’ school bus drivers are easy to overlook, but they are an invaluable part of our school community. 56% of LACES students participate in the bussing program, relying on these buses to get them to and from school every day. It takes a carefully organized system and dedicated drivers to keep the routes running. Veteran drivers like Mr. Rodolfo Castillo go the extra mile for their students. He starts work at the Gardena Bus Lot, 20 miles from LACES. 

“My day starts very early at 4:30 in the morning,” explained Castillo. “I gotta make sure to get to the yard to make sure everything is working properly, so it’s safe for me to drive out and start with my first pick up, which is about 6:35 A.M.” 

Timeliness is of the utmost importance to the drivers, including Castillo, who claims he’s had an on-time streak of 14 years. 

“I try to [be] very persistent to run my route on time,” he said. “Because I know what it is like for them to be late. If I’m late, the parents [are] gonna be late for work. I mean, it’s a consequence when you’re late. You have to see the big picture. When you’re running late and the parent [has to take the kid to school], they’re missing work. It has a domino effect.”

Mr. Elmer Ramirez, an LAUSD school bus driver of eighteen years, concurs. Ramirez drives the Westchester route, the longest route to LACES. He said, “[Bus driving] is important to LACES. I have to be on time, all the time.”

Castillo thinks punctuality is vital to success. “It’s not worth it to wake up too early to have wasted time,” he tells his students. “It’s your time. Take advantage of it. You have a big opportunity at this school, don’t waste it.”

On a typical day, Castillo will drive over 100 miles, not including driving to and from the bus lot in his own car. “And with field trips and sports activities, it can be for 100 or 150 miles,” he says. 

Castillo and Ramirez say they endure the long hours on the road because they care about their students. 

“My favorite part of my job is the students in the morning,” said Ramirez. “I know the names of everybody because I’ve worked for a long time and I’ve worked with them for four years, when after they are going to university or college. I miss them. I don’t see my students for a long time and I miss them. I think I have worked with almost 5 generations.”

Castillo also values connecting with the students on his route. 

“Very typical, you know, I greet my students with a good morning, even [if] they’re still asleep,” said Castillo. “They just walk in and not say anything. But they greet me later– ah, you know how it is. Getting off the bus, they say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Castillo.’ And I say ‘Thanks, have a great day.’”

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About the Contributor
Mia Orr
Mia Orr, Editor-in-Chief
Mia is the editor-in-chief of The Horn. She enjoys long walks, good music, and learning about birds.
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