Alexandria, VA (February 2, 2016) – The American School Bus Council (ASBC) announced today that they will be holding the national Love the Bus main event at Cosumnes River Elementary School in Sloughhouse, California on February 19, 2016.
Love the Bus began in 2007 and is held every February. It is a month-long celebration of the importance of the yellow school bus, with a particular focus on thanking school bus drivers for safely transporting 25 million children to and from school every day. Love the Bus events are held at schools, school bus facilities, and other locations across the country. The events raise awareness and appreciation for the experience of riding the bus to and from school, and recognize the diverse set of individuals whose daily efforts make the yellow school bus part of the fabric of American life.
The reliability of the school bus is a tremendous benefit to quality of life for American families. Each school bus route takes 36 cars off the road each morning and afternoon. New school buses built in the last several years are far cleaner for the environment than ever before, and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that school buses are far safer than any other way children get to and from school.
At the February 19th event, all of Cosumnes River Elementary School’s nearly 500 students are scheduled to hear from United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 9 Administrator Jared Blumenfeld, Congressman Ami Bera, and Elk Grove Unified School District (USD) Superintendent Chris Hoffman about being respectful to their bus drivers and appreciating the many benefits of the iconic yellow school bus, including safety, reduced traffic congestion, reduced energy use and air pollution, and assurance that all students have equitable access to educational programs.
Cosumnes River Elementary School is an ideal host for Love the Bus, not just because approximately 60 percent of its students rely on the school bus to take them to and from school. Cosumnes River is part of the Elk Grove Unified School District, and though school bus service is not required by California law, Elk Grove has embraced the value school buses provide to students and parents. Elk Grove has gone above and beyond California’s and the EPA’s stringent environmental regulations and has purchased buses that are powered by alternative fuel sources. It is the first school district in northern California to operate a propane-fueled bus, and also runs 25 compressed natural gas (CNG) fueled buses. The remainder of its school bus fleet is made up of clean diesel buses with active or passive filters.
ASBC will honor Elk Grove USD’s student transportation efforts with an award at the event. The American School Bus Council School Bus Champion Award recognizes exceptional support for student transportation safety, environmental stewardship, and overall service to students and parents.
The school bus will be woven into lesson plans at Cosumnes River throughout February, most visibly through student artwork that incorporates the yellow school bus. The students will be provided with school bus yellow “I Love the Bus” T-shirts as part of this festive educational event. Students, teachers, and administrators around the country have access to free downloads of a variety of Love the Bus materials at www.LoveTheBus.com, including an educator’s toolkit for crafting school bus-specific lesson plans, Love the Bus T-shirt templates, and bumper magnets.
Leaders in the nation’s student transportation community are excited about Love the Bus, because it highlights the importance of school buses and school bus drivers. “School Buses continue to be the safest form of transportation to and from school for our children, and the school bus driver is an important part of that school day commute,” said Trish Reed, Vice President and General Manager, IC Bus. “Much like teachers, the school bus driver plays a significant role in each child's life, and the Love the Bus event is one of many ways to celebrate the importance of school bus transportation and the school bus driver’s work and dedication.”
National Association for Pupil Transportation President Keith Henry added, “At a time when budgets are tight and there is much rhetoric about the cost of government, the yellow school bus remains a local government service that provides tremendous return for local taxpayers.”
National School Transportation Association President Todd Monteferrario said, “Love the Bus affords school children the opportunity to recognize the important role the school bus driver has every day in their education. Safe access to school is the first step toward success for all children.”
Leon Langley, President of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, added, “School buses are an American success story. They are the largest system of public transportation in the United States, and school buses ensure every child who rides is transported in the safest form of student transportation on the planet.”
For more information about other Love the Bus events around the country or for assistance with planning additional events or procuring American School Bus Council marketing materials, interested individuals are asked to contact ASBC at 866-955-2722, or visit www.americanschoolbuscouncil.com. ASBC can also be found at Facebook.com/LoveTheBus and Twitter.com/WeLoveTheBus.
ASBC is a coalition of public and private transportation providers, school bus manufacturers and state officials responsible for pupil transportation. The Council’s members include NAPT (National Association for Pupil Transportation), NASDPTS (National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services), NSTA (National School Transportation Association), Blue Bird Corp. of Fort Valley, Georgia, IC Corporation of Lisle, Illinois, and Thomas Built Buses of High Point, North Carolina.