Nearly nine out of 10 (87 percent) of parents in the U.S. believe that the school bus is the only reliable form of transportation for many students, and without it, the ability of all students to access the education system is limited, according to a new study conducted by the American School Bus Council (ASBC).
Among other findings of the study was that 70 percent of parents see the school bus transportation system as a great convenience, while 64 percent of parents believe that the school bus is a very important part of the education system.
As it issued the results of the study, the ASBC also urged more parents to have their kids ride the bus this school year. The council, a coalition of public and private transportation providers, school bus manufacturers and state pupil transportation directors, touted the unparalleled safety record of the school bus as well as its potential for reducing families’ carbon footprints and lowering their fuel expenditures.
“If school buses were not available each and every day, millions of children would be left without a way to get to school,” said Barry Stock, president of the National School Transportation Association and a member of the ASBC. “We hope [parents and students] will take advantage of the safest and most environmentally- friendly way to get to school.”
As fuel costs continue to impact school districts and family budgets, the ASBC’s study found that more than two-thirds (69 percent) of parents believe that is it more beneficial for their children to ride the bus to school in order to save money on the rising cost of gas.
“Riding the school bus to school is a win-win situation for both parents and the environment,” said Bill Tousley, supervisor of transportation for Farmington (Mich.) Public Schools, president of the National Association for Pupil Transportation and member of the ASBC. “A school bus is the most cost-effective solution you can find to save energy, reduce pollution and control congestion.”
In other survey findings, more than half of all parents surveyed strongly disagree with cutting bus stops (50 percent) or bus service (57 percent) as a means for school districts to offset the dramatic increase in the cost of fuel.