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December 11, 2009  |   Comments (1)   |   Post a comment

ASBC asks for $5M in federal funds


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The American School Bus Council went to Washington last week to drum up support for a public education campaign to promote increased school bus ridership.

The American School Bus Council went to Washington last week to drum up support for a public education campaign to promote increased school bus ridership.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American School Bus Council (ASBC) is drumming up support for a national campaign to promote school bus transportation.

Members of the industry coalition met with legislators and federal agency staff in Washington last week to present the plan. ASBC is seeking $5 million in federal funds.

The funding would support the design and implementation of “a two-year national public education campaign to promote the safety, environmental, economic, energy and academic benefits of increased school bus ridership,” as ASBC describes it.

Bob Riley, an ASBC member and executive director of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, told SBF that the plan went over well.

“It was a very successful initial step,” he said. “We were well received by the federal staffers and legislators. For the most part, they felt that ASBC had a worthwhile message to convey to the public.”

The meetings were with representatives of the Department of Transportation and the EPA and with 12 members of the House and Senate. Riley said that follow-up meetings will be arranged.

ASBC touted the safety record of the yellow school bus and made the case that with the public’s increasing interest in “going green,” the time is right to promote reliance on the school bus to get children to and from school. The typical school bus replaces an average of 36 cars on the road, resulting in a national savings of 2.3 billion gallons of fuel per year, according to the coalition’s data.

A federally-funded public education and awareness program is needed, ASBC said. It would target parents of school-age children, driving-age students, and local and state elected officials.

The funding would provide “a Website and online resource center, aggressive media relations, public service announcements, materials development, grassroots and community outreach, partnerships with community organizations and select media,” ASBC said.

 


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I see where there is a need to promote ridership increases on school buses. There are many more factors than I can list that are both pro and con from a parents point of view. There are many more pros that I could list from being involved in school bus transportation for 26 years. Fuel savings and less wear and tear on mom and dad's vehicles from running the schedules to dropping off and picking up the kids at schools is always a plus. Less traffic control and traffic flow problems from all the extra parents bring their kids to and from schools. Much less of a chance a parent will acidently run over someone else's child or even their own child if they only rode the school buses. The children would be riding the safest vehicle available should they be involved in an auto accident on the way to, or home form schools. The bus sits up high. The floor level of the passenger area of a school bus is above most impact zones from car, pick-ups, and vans on the roads today. It is a well known fact that school bus operators have much more training related to driving and personal care of the student safety issues to and from schools. Much more safety training than most parents or guardians transporting students in personal vehicles. Less look at the ones who walk. Put these students on board a school bus? They need their physical activities and it would seem walking to and from school would definately help since most schools seem to take play ground activities and phys ed away. Even shop classes converted over to just books and computer lessens instead of hands-on training of using labor in a shop class to actually build anything related to a real project. So why put walkers on buses? Visit your State's law enforcement websites that show where sexual preditors live. Most sites will even show where they are employed. Draw a map of the walking paths the students use each day they walk back and forth to their schools. Just maybe they walk right by a home or a place of

Dan Luttrell    |    Dec 12, 2009 10:17 AM

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