School bus operations around the country are honoring their employees and are being celebrated by their communities as part of “Love the Bus” month.
Houston Independent School District’s (HISD) transportation department staff was recognized by Mayor Annise D. Parker for their dedication and service excellence — from Feb. 8 to 13, the mayor’s office lit City Hall in yellow.
“I’m so proud of the outstanding job that our transportation team has performed," HISD transportation Senior Manager Chester Glaude said. “Safety is always at the forefront of everything we do to ensure that students are transported to and from school unharmed.”
Further west, in California, school bus drivers, students, transportation staff and others supporting those in pupil transportation will be offered discounted rates to a basketball game featuring the Sacramento Kings and the San Antonio Spurs on Feb. 19 as part of a school bus driver appreciation night.
In Virginia, the Virginia Association for Pupil Transportation (VAPT) is organizing a Love the Bus rally that is scheduled for Feb. 21 in downtown Richmond at the Capitol Square Mall bell tower. The Herald-Progress reports that state and national representatives have been invited to attend and speak, and a reception will follow at Darden Memorial Garden.
Students and pupil transportation professionals from across the state are also invited to attend the event, which will include Love the Bus-themed artwork displays and musical performances. A Facebook page for the VAPT event can be found here.
Earlier this week, outgoing U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood spoke at a Love the Bus event held at Tuckahoe Elementary School in Arlington, Va.
Officials for the American School Bus Council, which developed Love the Bus in 2007, told SBF that LaHood focused on two themes: the school bus as the safest way to get to and from school, and the importance of being nice and polite to school bus drivers.
“I want you kids to thank your drivers when you go home today,” LaHood told the students. “They care a lot about getting you to and from school safely.”
On Valentine's Day, school bus dealership Transportation South Inc., based in Pelham, Ala., was scheduled to host its third annual Love the Bus celebration to honor the state's best school bus drivers, as voted by the students, parents and teachers they serve.
School bus contractors are also getting into the Love the Bus spirit. In the Midwest, Johannes Bus Service Inc. of Rock Island, Ill., is encouraging parents, students and teachers to thank the men and women who transport thousands of children safely to and from schools in the Quad City area each day.
"School bus drivers are a vital link to the education system in the Quad City area," said Stephanie Johannes-Thomer, Johannes Bus marketing director. "Without them, thousands of children in our area would have no other way to get to school each day. Love the Bus is an opportunity for us to thank the drivers who not only safely take our children to school each day, but also serve as role models and friends to children across the Quad City area."
And National Express Corp. subsidiaries Durham School Services, Petermann Bus and Stock Transportation are celebrating Love the Bus all month long.
“Safely transporting children to school is a significant responsibility,” said David Duke, CEO of Durham, Stock and Petermann. “It is important that we recognize the commitment our drivers and support staff make every day. We thank all of our employees for their continued dedication to safety and the students they serve.”
Send us your “Love the Bus” photos!
Does your operation have events planned to celebrate "Love the Bus" this month? We'd love to see photos from the festivities for a new photo gallery that we have planned. Photos can be e-mailed to [email protected]. Please include your name and the name of your operation in the e-mail.