Parent poll shows benefits of buses for students, environment

Posted on August 19, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Many parents feel yellow school bus service has a positive impact on students’ academic performance, according to results from a recent survey conducted by the American School Bus Council (ASBC).

More than three quarters (76 percent) of parents surveyed said that if school bus service ceased, the performance of schoolchildren would probably decline, and 91 percent of respondents agreed that the school bus is an important factor in making student achievement possible.

A main reason for this view is that the parents believe the school bus contributes to the nation’s education system by providing guaranteed transportation to and from school for millions of students. Regardless of whether their own children ride a school bus, more than nine out of 10 parents surveyed (93 percent) held this opinion. Seventy-seven percent said that the school bus provides a great deal of benefit, while an additional 16 percent said it provides some benefit.

On a related note, three out of four parents (76 percent) believed that eliminating school bus service would very likely result in large numbers of students being absent from school more often.

“Through this survey, we learned that parents view the yellow school bus as an enabler of educational achievement — a powerful reason to make this service available to as many students as possible,” said Bob Riley, executive director of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services and a member of the ASBC.

ASBC noted that the nation’s school bus system eliminates the need for an estimated 17.3 million cars each morning and 2.3 billion gallons of gas annually. Eighty-eight percent of parents indicated that this information is an important reason for parents to choose to have their children ride a school bus.

ASBC also asked survey participants about tight school district budgets — specifically, whether they would support district officials who are considering cutting certain bus stops or routes as a way to save money. A majority (57 percent) of parents said they would be strongly opposed to school bus route or bus stop cuts due to lack of funds, with another 20 percent somewhat opposed.

ASBC’s survey was conducted via telephone by Opinion Research Corp. in July. Six hundred parents with children ages 6 to 17 were surveyed. The parents were identified from a random sample of 3,000 American adults.

To view the survey results in full, visit and click on “American School Bus Council: 2009 Parent Survey.”


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