In the pupil transportation community, we often talk about the importance of the school bus in the education system. Without yellow buses, many children would be challenged to get to school every day, or they would rely on less-safe forms of transportation.
It is also worth noting that the yellow bus serves communities across the country in other ways, even when school is not in session.
Here are some examples:
- Delivering meals. During the school year, many students from low-income families rely on free or reduced-priced meals served at school. But in the summer months, those children might have limited access to nutritious meals. Some districts use buses to deliver free lunches to kids in the community during the summer.
- Providing Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi routers are available to install on buses so students can use the web to do their homework, which is particularly helpful on long activity trips. The buses can also be parked in underprivileged areas to provide free internet service for residents who couldn’t afford to pay for it.
- Helpful in emergencies. There are countless instances of school buses evacuating people or transporting supplies during natural disasters such as evacuating residents in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.
- Event transportation. Yellow buses sometime shuttle participants in large-scale athletic competitions and other events. Some of these events include transporting Special Olympics athletes in the recent State Summer Games in Idaho.
- Shelter from the elements. Buses have been used for shelter in harsh weather. Last year in Nashville, TN with the temperatures hovering in the single digits, school buses were set up as a “Mobile Warming Station” to give residents a break from the bitter cold.
These examples – and there are certainly others – all reinforce the importance of the school bus in our society.