ARLINGTON, Va. — The American School Bus Council (ASBC) announced on Friday that outgoing U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has accepted an invitation to serve as the lead speaker at its main “Love the Bus” event here on Feb. 12.
As SBF previously reported, LaHood informed employees of the U.S. Department of Transportation that he would not be serving a second term as transportation secretary. However, he said that he would stay on until his successor is confirmed.
This year’s main Love the Bus event is scheduled to take place at Tuckahoe Elementary School. LaHood’s appearance will mark the second time he has participated in a Love the Bus event. In 2011, he visited an elementary school in Takoma Park, Md., where he spoke to students about the safety of school bus transportation.
Love the Bus, which began in 2007 and is held every February, is a month-long celebration of the importance of the yellow school bus, and it includes events at schools and other locations around the country.
At the main event at Tuckahoe Elementary School this year, officials said students will hear from LaHood, as well as locally elected officials and school administrators about being respectful to their bus drivers and appreciating the safety, environmental and congestion mitigation benefits of the yellow school bus.
One group that will receive special recognition at the event is school bus drivers, who safely transport millions of children to and from school every day. Tuckahoe Elementary students who participate in the event will draw pictures of their buses and send Love the Bus Valentine’s Day cards to their bus drivers.
"Love the Bus presents us with the opportunity to show our appreciation for the role each individual in the pupil transportation community plays in providing safe, efficient and effective transportation for our nation's children," said Ken Hedgecock, vice president of sales, marketing and service at Thomas Built Buses.
National School Transportation Association Executive Director Ronna Sable Weber added, “Love the Bus is a tremendous opportunity for kids who ride the bus to show their appreciation for the drivers who take them to and from school, and focus on the important role the school bus plays in their day-to-day lives.”
Other Love the Bus events taking place this year include a celebration on Valentine’s Day at school bus dealership Transportation South Inc. in Pelham, Ala.
For more information about Love the Bus events around the country or for assistance with planning events, contact ASBC at (866) 955-2722, or visit www.americanschoolbuscouncil.com. ASBC can also be found on Facebook here and on Twitter here.
To view a variety of photos from 2012 Love the Bus celebrations, see this photo gallery.