February marks the American School Bus Council’s (ASBC) annual Love the Bus month, and pupil transportation operations around the country have organized events to recognize their school bus drivers and other transportation personnel who are responsible for getting students to and from school safely.
The ASBC reports that 2011 Love the Bus events have been scheduled in all 50 states.
First Student Inc. is among the student transportation providers that is recognizing bus drivers across the U.S. this month for their dedication.
“Our drivers work hard each and every day to ensure the safety of the students we transport,” said Linda Burtwistle, president of the school bus contractor. “We are pleased to support Love the Bus month and to recognize our drivers as well as our dispatchers, maintenance teams and office staff for their commitment to providing the safest, most reliable transportation to children across North America.”
Durham School Services celebrated the Love the Bus campaign on Monday (Valentine’s Day). Each customer service center for the school bus contractor received a Love the Bus poster signed by the corporate office staff thanking employees for making safety their No. 1 priority.
“Safely transporting children to school is a significant responsibility, and it is important we recognize the commitment our drivers and support staff have made to do this each and every day,” said John Elliott, CEO of Durham School Services. “We thank all our employees for their continued dedication to safety and the students they serve.”
In Pelham, Ala., Transportation South, a provider of school buses, also held a Love the Bus celebration on Monday to honor the state’s bus drivers.
Nearly 150 individuals attended to show their support. While enjoying a barbecue lunch with entertainment from a local bluegrass trio, guests heard from Joe Lightsey, the state’s director of pupil transportation, who spoke about the track record of the school bus industry as a whole, and within the state of Alabama.
“We’re so excited to host this event to show appreciation of Alabama bus drivers,” said Bucky Law, president of Transportation South, earlier this month. “Each school system will choose to invite drivers who have a love for students, as this is what makes a great driver. From those selected, we will recognize one as the 2011 Love the Bus Driver of the Year.”
In North Carolina, events were scheduled to take place on or around Valentine’s Day at schools throughout the state. Activities include breakfast and lunch for bus drivers, giving valentines to bus drivers and presenting drivers with gifts. A full list can be found on the North Carolina School Bus Safety website.
Love the Bus celebrations will continue next week in Takoma Park, Md. As SBF previously reported, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is scheduled to attend an event on Feb. 22 at Takoma Park Elementary School. It will involve a yellow school bus, the students and driver of that bus, and officials from the school and its district, Montgomery County Public Schools.