Getting the bus to school for the first time is nerve racking. Elizabeth from the Ballymena Today youth team remembers her first time travelling to school.

Getting the Bus to School - Ballymena

Getting the Bus to School – Ballymena

I remember my very first time getting the bus to school 6 years ago. Luckily, at the time, I had my older brother there with me who kept me right. However, for the first few weeks I still found it very uncomfortable.

To get the bus to school you should research your bus number/route and find the nearest bus stop to your house.

Time how long it takes you to walk to it from your house so that you know what time you have to leave the house at the morning, if you miss the bus. This also means that you are not rushing your breakfast in the morning.

When your bus drives past your stop in the morning the bus driver should stop for you, however, sometimes you might have to signal him to pull over. You should make this obvious so they do not miss you, if you are by yourself. Make sure you catch the bus going in the right direction and you should also check to see if you are eligible for free bus journeys or if you can get a discount.

The office at the bus station sells a smart card with the maximum number of journeys ie 40, which means you don’t need to have the right change for the bus in the morning or coming back home. This can get topped up as soon as you have less than 10 remaining journeys.

The bus itself may be quite crowded and busy. If there isn’t enough seats you may be expected to stand. To keep your balance you should hold onto the poles or overhead straps. You should also try not to block the isle with your bags as people may have to get off at earlier stops and this could hinder them.

The bus station is also very busy as pupils from schools all around Ballymena come here to get home so in the first week find where and where your bus is so that you don’t miss it.

There is a small shop at the bottom of the station called “The Kiosk”. There you can buy packets of sweets and hot drinks (which is great in the freezing winter).

For pupils who attend Ballymena Academy there is a bus path at the top of the station. This is a shortcut for pupils to walk up to get to school. It only takes about 5 to 10 minutes to walk up this in the morning and afternoons.

For other schools there tends to be a shuttle bus that takes you straight from the station to your school instead of walking. If you have paid your ticket at the first stop, you don’t need to pay for this journey. Just show your ticket on entry.

For more information about the bus services in Ballymena which cater for schools please click here.

An updated list of school bus routes and number can be found here. Please share this with any students in Ballymena who are travelling on the bus to a new school.