3. School buses are convenient. School buses provide parents with incomparable convenience that enables working families to be able to work. Without school buses, parents would need to drive children to school in the morning and then leave work early to pick them up after school. Parents (and employers) know that simply wouldn’t work.
4. School buses have environmental benefits. School buses are the largest mass transit system in the country. Imagine the traffic congestion and additional emissions if, instead of school buses, thousands of parents were driving children to school during rush hours.
So, how do you make the case? Here again, a new paradigm is required. Many school bus professionals are prohibited from “lobbying” and this is not a suggestion that you do so. But usually there is no prohibition from accepting speaking engagements, providing information to the news media to help them frame local stories, or even something as simple as making a presentation at homeowners association meetings.
NAPT is working with its partners, especially in the American School Bus Council, to develop resources that will enable you to speak clearly and effectively on this subject. We are working on them right now and expect to have them available soon. They will be available via download for free from www.americanschoolbuscouncil.org.
In the meantime, look for opportunities to get out and be heard! You’ve got a wonderful story to tell.
Mike Martin is executive director of NAPT. Barry McCahill is communications consultant for the association.