Editorial: Be considerate of CyRide drivers


Photo: Liz Ulrichson/Iowa State Daily

An Orange 23 CyRide bus passes by most buildings around Central Campus. Dozens of students get on and off the bus during the class break. Students don’t pay attention to the rights of the road. This has led to accidents that occur on campus.

Editorial Board

With more than 32,000 students making their daily trek to class, walking across campus becomes a battle for sanity, as well as time. Sidewalks guide the steady current of moving feet, heavy backpacks and sweat. Bicycles skirt around unsuspecting pedestrians, and longboarders struggle to weave between the gaps, dodging hot coffee and flying elbows.

During these passing times, there’s never a dull moment, especially for CyRide drivers.

Students cross the street wherever they please — often at a sprint to avoid getting clobbered by an oncoming vehicle — and CyRide buses are forced to slam on the brakes every few seconds, while bicyclists pedal swiftly through stop signs in their race to class.

CyRide drivers work every day to make the lives of students easier. They’re always there to make a rainy day more bearable and to provide some relief from the sweltering heat. They take us to Target on lazy Sunday mornings — and back to Frederiksen Court when we really don’t want to walk.

CyRide drivers provide a vital service for ISU students, and we need to show them the respect they deserve.

We can start by remembering the No. 1 lesson of our youth: Always look both ways.

It seems pretty basic, but with students still regularly getting hit by CyRide, it’s a concept that clearly needs revisiting.

As we cross the street, phone in hand, our eyes should be on the road, not the keypad of our mobile device. And regardless of how interesting our conversation is or what new Justin Timberlake song is playing on our iPod, crossing a street without paying attention to moving vehicles isn’t just inconsiderate — it’s dangerous.

Getting hit by a bus doesn’t mean free tuition; it means serious injury or death. And it’s not only serious for students, it’s serious for CyRide. The driver of a CyRide bus can — and will — be fired for hitting a student, regardless of who was at fault.

Last week, a student was mildly injured after being hit by a CyRide bus, and CyRide confirmed that the driver was terminated. Details of the event are relatively vague and blame has yet to be placed, but the driver still lost his job — his livelihood and source of income.

Students need to take an extra five seconds to let the bus — or any vehicle, for that matter — pass before darting into the street. We have to look up from our cellphones, pause our conversations and pay attention to CyRide, because our lives aren’t the only ones at stake.