Buses used to be prolific in the transportation of students to and from school. Those who did not live within walking distance of their campus would usually take the bus. Indeed, the yellow school bus continues to be an iconic image for the K-12 educational system. Today, families often choose different options such as a car, bike, light rail or skateboard -- but there are still benefits to opting for that yellow bus.
Taking the bus to school has economic advantages for a family. Parents may not realise how much gas they burn driving to and from school, until their child takes advantage of the state school bus system for a while. Saving that money can free it up for other things the family needs. It also helps schools get their money's worth out of the cost of maintaining and commissioning buses. When the bus only transports a minimal number of students, it threatens the jobs of drivers, can eat into a school's gas and maintenance budget unnecessarily and cause financial problems for other families with no other option if bus travel is ultimately eliminated in your district.
While buses do cause pollution, they cause less than all of the car exhaust that is emitted from the families individually using vehicles for drop off and pick up children. Consolidating transportation can keep air in a city cleaner, and keep the roads less congested. Buses also allow schools to expand within their parameters without affecting the environment. Schools that experience student growth may need to knock out trees, creeks or other environmental hubs by their campus to make room for classrooms and facilities. A car park not crowded with student cars can allow schools to expand on the land they already have -- adding new buildings and reducing parking spaces without compromising the land around them.
Time and Organization
A school bus can make parents of younger students more time-efficient and organised as a family. Giving your children a deadline to get ready in the morning (or else they will miss the bus) will teach them organisation, responsibility and time management. It can help you avoid pressing the snooze button too, as you now know your children are depending upon a strict time schedule maintained by the school as opposed to your own personal sport-utility-vehicle shuttle service once you're all finally out of the house.
Taking a bus short distances can be safer for many students. Teen drivers always face the risk of inexperience on the road, while students who walk or bike to school are susceptible to being struck by a car or injuring themselves in some other way. This is also true for skateboards, scooters and shoes with wheels. Sending your child on a bus means she will only have to walk a short distance before boarding, and then will come home in the same fashion -- bringing further safety to the child and peace of mind to you.