Sick of detention, Auckland school student surveys buses, pushes for change

Takapuna Grammar School student Volkan Ozyurteri hopes his survey on the school buses will make a difference.
ZIZI SPARKS/FAIRFAX NZ

Takapuna Grammar School student Volkan Ozyurteri hopes his survey on the school buses will make a difference.

Volkan Ozyurteri is sick of being late to school, so he's taken matters into his own hands.

The 15-year-old from Auckland's North Shore said he was late to school almost every day this year, thanks to an ill-timed school bus, and has received detention for his tardiness.

"It's not right to have a school bus make you late to class," Volkan said.

Having surveyed early buses, Volkan Ozyurtei says students also cram onto the bus in the afternoons and he plans to ...
ZIZI SPARKS/FAIRFAX NZ

Having surveyed early buses, Volkan Ozyurtei says students also cram onto the bus in the afternoons and he plans to survey that service at a later date.

While the teachers at the school he attends, Takapuna Grammar School, were largely understanding, he said, everyone had been sitting on their hands waiting for change.

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"They would think it was going to change but no one was making a change. I knew I needed to be that person."

So Volkan spent a week documenting the details of his daily bus ride, including the time it picked him up and arrived at school, and the number of people on board.

"I found that there would be busloads of people late to class every day sometimes by five to six minutes," Volkan said.

Volkan catches the 062 bus from Takapuna to school every day except Wednesday and said in the week of May 1, the bus arrived after the school's first bell time of 8.35am. All seats on the bus were full every day that week, he observed.

He said on Wednesdays, school starts at 9.30am and so most students forgo the 8.30am bus for the later public bus, making the school bus largely redundant.

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"The passengers on the public bus seem annoyed having a bunch of kids on the bus," Volkan said.

He said sometime the bus was overflowing and members of the public were left waiting for the next service.

He observed the bus to be "overflowing with students and public" with many people left at bus stops.

Volkan has passed his survey to North Shore councillor Chris Darby and hopes it can achieve two things.

Firstly, to push the normal departure time forward by five minutes and secondly to change the Wednesday departure time to 9.15am, so students don't take over the public bus and aren't 45 minutes early to school.

He said, on some days, students give up on catching the bus and get a lift to school, adding to the already congested Lake Rd on the Devonport peninsula.

Darby said it was "refreshing" to see a young person step out and take initiative to create change.

"Volkan didn't merely lodge a complaint, he undertook his own research, documented it and proposed a very simple solution."

Auckland Transport media manager Mark Hannan said a change can investigated if the change does not impact on the run the bus does beforehand.

"There's been some great work from Volkan about this service. Auckland Transport will talk to NZ Bus, who operate the service, and we will see if they can start the service a few minutes earlier," Hannan said.

 - Stuff

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