WASHINGTON — The American School Bus Council (ASBC) released its findings from an analysis of 2008 and the results of a recent survey.
The ASBC found that in 2008, more than 480,000 yellow school buses across the nation transported an estimated 26 million students to and from school, sparing nearly 2.3 billion gallons of fuel and saving families more than $7.3 billion in fuel costs.
The council also found that 87 percent of parents in the U.S. agree that the school bus is the only reliable form of transportation for many students, and without it, the ability of students to access the education system is limited.
"Each day, school buses across the country take more than half the school age population to school without incident," said Barry Stock, president of the National School Transportation Association and an ASBC member, "so we weren't surprised when 70 percent of parents indicated that they see the school bus transportation system as a great convenience. As we round out 2008 and look to the economic reports for 2009, the school bus industry looks forward to continuing to offer families a safe and economical way to transport our children."
Additional data compiled by the ASBC as part of its 2008 analysis is as follows:
17.3 million: total number of private vehicles that would be needed to transport students currently riding on all school buses
822 million gallons per year: total fuel used by school bus fleet
$3.4 billion per year: total cost of fuel used by school bus fleet
$131 per year: cost of fuel per child transported by school bus
3.1 billion gallons per year: total fuel for cars replaced by buses
$11.4 billion per year: cost of fuel for cars replaced by school buses
62.4 billion: total annual car mileage saved by students riding school buses
346.6 million: total daily car mileage saved by students riding school buses
36: average number of cars that would be needed to transport students currently riding one school bus The council also touched on the environmental benefits of school bus service, reporting that new diesel engine standards make today's buses 98 percent less polluting than buses manufactured two decades ago.
Moreover, the ASBC estimated that a teenager that lives five miles from school and drives a 2008 Honda Civic can reduce his or her carbon footprint dramatically — from 1.27 tons of carbon dioxide by driving to 0.12 tons by riding a school bus.