I've related here how my Davey has some issues with his bus travel.
As it turns out, 3 afternoons a week he needs to be home earlier than the bus can get him home anyway, in order to get to his afternoon activities on time.
I finish work at 3.30pm, Em who is on the same campus as me, finishes school at 4pm. Davey finishes at 3.15pm at a school about 15 minutes drive from our campus. For a while I tried picking Davey up, then racing back to pick Em up - a round trip of 30 minutes, but it didn't quite work. We ended up late, frazzled and generally grumpy. I felt like I'd ping-ponged across town, wasting fuel and time. Davey hated being the last kid left at school as I couldn't get to his school until almost 4pm and as he said, the same old men kept asking him if he'd missed his bus, and he kept telling them no, he was waiting for his mum. (These 'old men' are other wise known as concerned school teachers!)
My solution was to get Davey to catch a bus half way home. I'd stop stressing about trying to leave work on time (something I don't have a knack of doing), then read a book, or the paper, or daydream for 15 minutes or so while I waited for Em, we'd head towards home and pick Davey up on the way, arriving home at 4.15pm - earlier than the ping-pong method by about 10 minutes! Davey would have to wait for us at the half way bus stop for about 20 minutes, but as the bus stop is located at a corner store with a bench seat out the front, he said he wouldn't mind waiting there as interesting things happened - unlike school that just has old men asking if you've missed your bus! (Not interesting in a bad kind of way, in case you're worried! People he knows pop into the shop for milk and bread, friends walk their dogs past, other school buses drop students from other schools there. So, people watching for Davey it is. To sweeten the deal for Davey, I give him $1, 3 days a week to spend on lollies at the corner store, so he can munch while he people watches.
As Em started the car the other afternoon, to begin our journey home, she commented
"I don't really mind or anything, but it doesn't seem fair that Davey gets a bribe for being picked up at the corner shop".
Me: "Well, he is making it easier for me by waiting."
Em: "You've never bribed me to wait!"
Me: "You've never had to wait."
Em: "Davey doesn't have to either. He could catch the bus all the way home."
Me: "Yes, but the bus doesn't get him home in time for music or soccer."
Em: "It still seems as though you're babying him."
Me:(laughing) "You know it's actually you that I'm babying!"
Me: "If I left work when I finish, I could arrive at the bus stop at the same time as Davey, pick him up and then keep going home. We'd be home before 4 o'clock. But then you would have to catch the bus all the way home and wouldn't get home until 5 and would have to walk up that steep hill. Davey is actually waiting at the shop so you get home at 4.15 rather than 5."
Em: (quietly) "Oh" (embarrassed giggle) "I hadn't thought of it like that."
Me: "Yeah, that's because you're the only only one not waiting in this transport equation!"