By Giovanni Escutia
Waiting for the Metro buses after night classes at East Los Angeles College can be brutal.
The fact that it is cold at night isn’t the only problem a person can face. The fact that some classes end long after or right as the buses pass can be very frustrating. Picture walking down Avenida Cesar Chavez toward Atlantic Boulevard and see the Metro 260 line, the bus that takes you home, passing the bus station.
Sometimes it can make students wonder why they’re even going to school at night. In some cases, students can end up waiting for the next bus for at least an hour. For students living in areas other than East Los Angeles, this can be brutal.
I’ve made the night trip home many times and there hasn’t been a single night where I wasn’t alone. Maybe it’s a fool’s opinion, but shouldn’t classes end at least 10 to 15 minutes before the Metro buses pass? Talk about a waste of time. All students want to do after class, especially a night class, is go home to rest. Instead they are in the cold, dark night, waiting for the bus to come.
Now, I understand not all students take this journey. Some have the privilege of driving themselves home, which is lucky for them, but waiting on the dark street corner for the bus can also be dangerous. Countless times I have waited for the bus past 10:30 p.m. The blistering cold can get to your skin. The rushing cars of traffic going home can sometimes miss seeing pedestrians cross at night.
There are times where hooligans disrupt the peace. Still, it is not as dangerous as being mugged or attacked on the dark street corners. Yes, there’s traffic passing every little while, and the occasional patrol car is comforting, but the moments when a student is alone and the knowledge of him or her not being safe can get to a person.
Some can argue that we live in an age of cell phones, and smart phones, but not everyone has one. Some students don’t even carry change to use the phone booth, so how are they to call the police if they are in trouble?
How can we ensure that the safety of Elans beyond the boundaries of the school? One idea may be to establish a transportation system for the students and even faculty, which will transport them quicker to the bus stations and parking structures around the school.
A tram that circulates the school can transport students to certain areas of the campus, so students will have a far less chance of being tardy. The school can even arrange a contract or a plan with Metro so the buses can come more often, or at least delay the buses a bit so students can catch them.
ELAC can even shorten the schedule of night classes by a mere 10 or 15 minutes, so students have time to make the walk to the bus stops before their bus gets there. Some people may argue that cutting up to 15 minutes of class can reduce the time of a student’s learning, or the school can move up the time of the classes by 15 minutes. Classes start at 6:50 p.m. and end at 10:00 p.m.. With the change, classes would start at 6:35 p.m. and end at 9:45 p.m.
It may just be a fool’s opinion, but the safety of anyone’s well being isn’t worth gambling.