The expansion pack for Bus Simulator 21 includes three Blue Bird school buses and a new mission type for running student transportation routes. Thomas Built Buses will be included in an upcoming...

The expansion pack for Bus Simulator 21 includes three Blue Bird school buses and a new mission type for running student transportation routes. Thomas Built Buses will be included in an upcoming expansion.

Image: Stillalive Studios/Astragon Entertainment

Ever wanted to drive a school bus, but preferred to do it from the comfort of your home computer? The latest downloadable content for Bus Simulator 21 offers that opportunity. The game, built in Unreal Engine 4, is published by Astragon Entertainment and developed by Stillalive Studios.

The Official School Bus Extension for Bus Simulator 21 Next Stop is set to release on Aug. 30, featuring three licensed school buses from Blue Bird:

  • The All-American FE: A 40-foot front engine diesel school bus with capacity for 89 passengers.
  • The All-American RE: A 40-foot rear engine diesel school bus with capacity for 84 passengers.
  • The Vision: A 40-foot gasoline fueled school bus with capacity for 83 passengers.

The new DLC expands game content with school trips as a new mission type, requiring drivers to pick up students at various points in the city, deliver them to different school buildings added to the cityscapes, and then collect them after school to return them home.

“We were thrilled when game developers invited us to feature Blue Bird’s iconic buses in the Bus Simulator 21 Next Stop – Official School Bus Extension video game,” said Alexander Kevelier, marketing manager for Blue Bird. “For nearly a century, we’ve built school buses for the real world. The video game opened up new avenues for us. We can now place everyone behind the wheel of these amazing vehicles which carry the most precious cargo in the world.”

Simulated school bus driving has potential benefits, simultaneously offering personal growth and entertainment. Players can get a taste of the school bus driver’s life in a safe and controlled space, maneuvering through tight spaces, handling different weather conditions, and handling traffic rules. The exercise also can help with spatial awareness, decision-making, time management, and multi-tasking.

It can also be educational for younger players, introducing them to concepts related to transportation and safety protocols, which could spark interest in various aspects of public services.

The game’s challenges, scenarios, and rewards can keep players engaged and motivated to improve their skills.

And even if you don’t want to drive a school bus as a career, simulators like this can foster empathy and understanding for the professionals who perform this essential role in real life.

The base game includes 30 buses from international manufacturers including:

  • Volvo.
  • Alexander Dennis.
  • Scania.
  • BYD.
  • Mercedes-Benz.
  • IVECO BUS.
  • MAN.

Environments include the United States and Europe, with the ability to play alone or with friends in cooperative multiplayer mode. The game allows players to handle management features, such as setting up detailed timetables, visiting bus dealers, and route planning. It’s also got dynamic weather and AI-controlled pedestrians and traffic.

The game’s career mode combines sandbox play with the economic system of the campaign, letting the player try to manage start-up capital as they attempt to operate successful routes.

Bus Simulator 21 is available on PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One. Thomas Built Buses will be included in an expansion pack later this year.

About the author
Wes Platt

Wes Platt

Former Executive Editor

Wes Platt is the former executive editor of School Bus Fleet magazine.

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