Thomas McMahon is executive editor of SCHOOL BUS FLEET.
The school bus is such an integral part of the education system in the U.S. that it is often used as a symbol to represent education itself. The yellow bus icon appears on school district home pages, in TV commercials and on signs in stores selling back-to-school supplies.
Some 28 million students across the nation rely on the school bus to get to and from school each day. And their parents rely on the safety and convenience that the school bus uniquely provides.
Even beyond their vital role in education, the school bus means many things to many people. As a few examples, the school bus has provided a home on wheels for some who have sought to simplify their lives or to travel the country. The yellow bus also represents an important economic opportunity for hundreds of thousands of people who are employed in the pupil transportation industry.
That last point came to mind when I read recently about Yakob Kidane Adhanom, who was born in Eritrea, East Africa. He left Eritrea as a teenager because of political instability and eventually came to the U.S.
Adhanom now works as a school bus driver for Gwinnett County Public Schools in Georgia.
In an interview with the Gwinnett Daily Post, Adhanom described the hardships he faced as a refugee in Africa and the opportunities that he has seen in the U.S.
Across the country, in central Oregon, a family of six has made a new home for itself in a remodeled school bus.
On her website, Nina Nelson describes her and her husband's process of simplifying life for them and their four kids, converting the school bus into a living space, and their plans for the future. She also posts plenty of photos of their innovative bus home.
What does the yellow school bus mean to you? How has it impacted your life? Tell us in the comments section below.
More on repurposed school buses:
• Photo Gallery: Life After Shuttling Students