How Long Does It Take You To Get to School?

Quck answer

On average, it takes students about 20-30 minutes to get to school. However, the actual time can vary depending on various factors such as the distance from home to school, mode of transportation, traffic conditions, and the efficiency of public transportation systems. Some students may have a shorter commute if they live close to the school or have a direct route, while others may have a longer travel time if they live far away or have to take multiple modes of transportation. Overall, the time it takes to get to school can significantly impact students’ daily routines and schedules.


What is your daily commute to school like? Do you live close enough to walk? Maybe you get a ride from an adult. However, if you’re like most kids, you probably take the big yellow school bus.

If you live in a rural area, you might have to wake up early to catch the bus. You might also have a long journey to school. This is the reality for many children across the United States.

Children in one particular town, however, have a particularly unique experience. They catch the bus as early as 6:25am (before sunrise most days) because they have to cross two international borders on their way to and from school. This trip takes a minimum of 40 minutes on a good day.

Welcome to life in Point Roberts, Washington. It’s a small town located at the southern end of the Tsawwassen Peninsula. It happens to be an exclave, meaning it is geographically separated from the mainland of the United States because it is surrounded by Canada.

How did this happen? The residents of Point Roberts can thank the Convention of 1818 between the U.S. and Great Britain after the War of 1812. The Convention had to determine the border between the U.S. and Canada.

To make things as simple as possible, they decided that the boundary from the middle of Minnesota westward would follow the 49th parallel. This worked well until they reached the Tsawwassen Peninsula and realized that the 49th parallel cuts through it, giving the small town of Point Roberts at the southern end to the U.S.

By the time people realized what had happened, no one seemed interested enough to fix it. Point Roberts is located about 110 miles north of Seattle and is a geographic anomaly: five square miles of land surrounded by Canada, with around 1,200 U.S. citizens residing there.

It is not the only place like this. There are a few other areas along the border, such as Alburgh and Province Point in Vermont, Elm Point and the Northwest Angle in Minnesota, and an unnamed point in North Dakota.

The border plays a significant role in making life in Point Roberts unique. School children must cross the Canadian border to travel to White Rock, Canada, where they then cross the U.S. border to reach their school in Blaine, Washington. Each school day involves four border crossings and a long commute.

The border also contributes to the town’s safety. Thanks to border security, Point Roberts has a crime rate three times lower than the rest of Washington. This also makes it an ideal place for individuals in the federal government’s witness protection program to live. Tight border security helps protect them from pursuing criminals.

Additionally, the border creates a lot of daily traffic due to international economics. Thousands of Canadians cross the border each day to buy gas and groceries in Point Roberts, where these and other goods and services are often 30% cheaper. Many Canadians also use shipping and receiving companies in Point Roberts to do business with online retailers that do not ship to Canada.

If you find Point Roberts to be an intriguing place to live, be prepared for the fact that accomplishing even the simplest tasks can take some time. The residents, who are governed by Whatcom County, often complain that the county is slow to address their infrastructure needs. As an example, they highlight the fact that it took two years for a single streetlight to be installed!

Give It a Try

If you’re ready to cross the border, invite a friend or family member to join you on your journey as you explore the following activities:

  • Want to get a better understanding of where Point Roberts is located? Take a look at Point Roberts on Google Maps online! Use the zoom and scroll features to get a clearer sense of the surrounding geography. Which roads would you take to reach other parts of the United States?
  • Interested in learning more about the history of Point Roberts? Go online and read about the establishment of Point Roberts and the major events that have occurred in the area since then. What are your thoughts? Do you think Point Roberts should have been given to Canada to simplify life? Why or why not?
  • Would you choose to live in Point Roberts? Explain why or why not. Create a list of at least five advantages and five disadvantages of residing in this small town. Would dealing with the border crossing be a hassle? Does the town’s safety compensate for its challenges? Would living there be more desirable at a particular age? Share your opinions with friends and family members.

Useful Sources

  • https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/point-roberts
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alburgh_(town),_Vermont
  • https://www.citylab.com/design/2012/02/strange-existence-point-roberts-washington/1265/
  • https://www.ocregister.com/2014/10/18/small-washington-town-of-point-roberts-a-geographic-anomaly/

FAQ

1. How long does it take you to get to school?

On average, it takes me about 30 minutes to get to school. I live relatively close to the campus, so I can easily walk or cycle there. The short commute is quite convenient and allows me to save both time and money.

2. What mode of transportation do you use to get to school?

I prefer to walk or cycle to school. It not only helps me stay active and healthy but also reduces my carbon footprint. Additionally, since I live within a reasonable distance, using a bike or walking is often faster than driving or taking public transportation.

3. Do you encounter any traffic or transportation issues on your way to school?

Fortunately, I don’t encounter much traffic or transportation issues on my way to school. Since I live close to campus, I can avoid major roads and congested areas. However, there might be occasional traffic during peak hours, but it rarely affects my commute time significantly.

4. Are there any alternative routes you could take to get to school faster?

Yes, there are alternative routes I could take to get to school faster. Sometimes, if I’m running late or want to avoid certain areas, I can take a slightly longer route that bypasses traffic or congested streets. However, since my regular route is already quite efficient, I rarely need to explore these alternatives.

5. How does the weather affect your commute to school?

The weather can have some impact on my commute to school, especially during extreme conditions. If it’s raining heavily or if there’s a snowstorm, I might need to allow for extra time to reach my destination safely. However, since I live close to school, these situations are relatively rare and do not frequently disrupt my journey.

6. Do you have any tips for reducing travel time to school?

Yes, here are a few tips to reduce travel time to school:

– Plan your route in advance and identify any potential traffic or congestion spots.

– Consider alternative modes of transportation like cycling or walking if feasible.

– Use real-time traffic updates or navigation apps to avoid delays.

– Leave early to allow for unexpected delays or to find parking if necessary.

– Carpool with classmates or friends to share the travel time and reduce traffic congestion.

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