Go Green, Ride Yellow!

There are more than 480,000 yellow school buses across the nation transporting an estimated 26 million students to and from school, sparing nearly 2.3 billion gallons of fuel and saving families more than $7.3 billion in fuel costs each year.

  • The U.S. school bus fleet is the nation’s largest public transportation fleet at two and a half times the number of vehicles of all other forms of mass transportation combined.
  • Nationally, 26 million children in the U.S. take 480,000 buses to and from school each day.
  • School buses travel about 12,000 miles per year per bus or almost 6 billion cumulative miles per year.
  • The typical school bus replaces an average of 36 cars that would each travel 3,600 miles per year transporting children to and from school.
  • School buses are the largest mass transit program in the U.S. School buses provide approximately 10 billion student trips per year. In contrast, transit buses provide only about 5.2 billion unlinked passenger trips each year in the US (i.e. getting to a destination by using a single bus instead of multiple connections).

New York State School Bus Facts

  • New York owns more than 10% of yellow school buses in the country.
  • New York’s private school bus contractors represent more than 63% of school transportation in the State.
  • The New York School Bus Contractors Association (NYSBCA) represents over 100 hundred bus companies operating over 32,000 school vehicles in over 300 school districts across the state.
  • New York school bus contractors transport over 2 million children a day.
  • 17 of the 50 largest school bus contractors are located in New York State.
  • The private school bus industry employs over thirty thousand people statewide providing safe working environments, highly competitive wages and benefits.
  • NYSBCA provides industry safety standards and training for school districts.
  • Private school bus operators save school districts and property tax payers millions of dollars each year by providing highly efficient school transportation services.

School Buses Keep Children Safe

  • Outstanding safety record – There is no safer way to transport a child than in a school bus. Fatal crashes involving school bus occupants are rare events, even though school buses serve daily in every community. Every school day, some 475,000 yellow school buses transport more than 25 million children to and from schools and school-related activities.
  • Driving your children to school is not safer – The Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences estimates that every year more than 800 school-aged children are killed as occupants in other motor vehicles or as pedestrians or bicyclists during “normal school transport hours.” Most of these deaths could be prevented if children rode in school buses. Parents need to know that driving a child to school—or allowing them to ride to school with other teenagers–is not a safety smart decision—hands down, the school bus is the safest way to and from school.
  • Occupant Fatalities – Based on the latest federal statistics, last year, 5 children were killed as passengers in school buses Forty-seven states did not have a single child killed as a school bus passenger. When a fatality occurs it typically involves severe circumstances

School Buses Conserve Energy and Reduce Fuel Usage

  • Each school bus, at an average 7 mpg and 12,000 miles, uses 1,700 gallons of fuel per year. But the 36 individual vehicles each bus replaces would collectively use 6,500 gallons of gas for the trip to and from school. This is a savings of 4,800 gallons of fuel per bus per year.
  • Total savings per year for the country is 2.3 billion gallons of fuel, and more than $6 billion.
  • A teenager living 5 miles from school can save $686 in gas money annually by taking the bus to school.

School Buses Help the Environment

  • New diesel engine standards make today’s buses 98% cleaner than buses manufactured just two decades ago.
  • Today’s diesel fuels contain 97% less sulfur than the diesel fuels sold just a few years ago.
  • Thousands of older buses have been modified with high tech filters and catalysts to reduce emissions by up to 90%, producing $13 in health benefits for every dollar in cost.
  • A teenager living 5 miles from school and driving a 2008 Honda Civic emits 1.27 tons of CO2 by driving to school. By taking the bus, she can reduce her carbon footprint to 0.12 tons—less than one-tenth as much.
  • By replacing an average 36 private vehicles per bus, school buses ease traffic congestion, reduce road wear, and reduce potentially harmful soot and smog-forming emissions to help prevent global warming.

DJ Pakhuongte