- This article is about the logistics of transporting students to and from school. For a discussion on vehicles specifically designed for this purpose, see School bus.
Student transport is the transporting of children and teenagers to and from schools and school events. School transport can be undertaken by school students themselves (on foot, bicycle or perhaps horseback; or for older students, by car), they may be accompanied by family members or caregivers, or the transport may be organised collectively, using buses or taxis.
- 1 Transport modes
- 2 Safety and student transport modes
- 3 Student transport by country
- 4 See also
- 5 External links
- 6 References
General public transport
Using the general-purpose public transport is the most common means of student transport, in some countries. Sometimes the parents or the students get reimbursed when they buy public transport tickets.
Student transport can use specially designed school buses. Many districts in Canada and the United States use specially built and equipped school buses, painted school bus yellow and equipped with various forms of warning and safety devices specific to them. In other parts of the world, buses used for transporting students tend to be more general-purpose type buses than their North American counterparts.
Parental transport of students in the family automobile, sometimes termed the "school run", is increasing due to perceived hazards to unaccompanied children. Older students in some countries are able to drive themselves to school.
Cycling and walking
Safety and student transport modes
A 1994 report based on Australian road safety statistics found that traveling to school by bus is:
- 7 times less likely to cause serious injury or death than being driven in a family car,
- 31 times less likely to cause the same than walking
- 228 times less likely to cause the same than cycling.
Student transport by country
In Argentina, although most students either walk, are driven by parents, or take regular public transit to school, many of them use private buses carrying an identification and authorization of government in each city. They are usually white and orange and are mostly vans, a change from the times when bigger transit-style buses were used. Parents pay the van owner a monthly fee to carry their children back and forth from school. These vans are not affiliated to the school and usually transport children from different schools in the same route. [clarification needed]
In Australia, students who live in outer suburban or rural areas often travel on public buses and trains or on special routes provided by private bus companies. The school services cross-subsidise the regular bus routes. In inner city areas, school students travel on government-owned route service buses. Students travel on either a public route bus, or a "school special" service. Some private schools have their own buses which are often provided by a school where a private company is unwilling or unable to provide the service.
- New South Wales
In New South Wales, school bus transport is listed as one of the safest forms of land transport, other than train (current figures are represented without seatbelts installed). Students in years K-2 get free travel regardless of where they live, students in years 3-6 get free travel if they live further than 1.6 kilometres (0.99 mi) radial distance or 2.3 kilometres (1.4 mi) by the most direct practical walking distance from the school, and high school students get free travel only if they live more than 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) radial distance or 2.9 kilometres (1.8 mi) by the most direct practical walking distance from school.
In Canada, student transport is handled in much the same way as it is in the United States: the yellow school bus. Canadian school districts usually engage school bus contractors for student transport services, almost always provided without charge to families. Outside of the metrification of the dashboard instruments and the French-language signage on school buses in the province of Quebec, Canadian and U.S. school buses are largely identical (and are produced by the same manufacturers).
In Finland, students who live more than 5 kilometers away from the nearest school, or have other significant impediments to going to the school, are eligible to either bus or Taxi rides. The buses and taxis that are used are normal vehicles, typically operated by local companies. Buses that are reserved solely for school busing have "Koulukyyti/Skolskjuts" markings on front and back. Taxis engaged in student transport have a triangular sign on the roof. Buses engaged in student transport are limited to driving at 80 km/h maximum speed.
There're no special school buses in Germany with a few exceptions. Public transport timetables are often adapted to the needs of secondary schools. Some German states offer a reimbursement for public transport tickets.
In Hong Kong, younger students are transported between their homes and schools by "nanny vans". These vehicles are typically van-based and are smaller than a typical Hong Kong public light bus. When nanny vans originated, they were regulated primarily by the schools and the van drivers. Today, in the interest of safety, nanny vans are government-regulated vehicles that run on fixed routes.
In the Netherlands, there isn't an organized form of student transport on a large scale.
Children who attend kindergarten are usually brought by their parents.
Almost all students at elementary school go to school by foot, as they live close by the school. Students who live further away, go by bike.
When the students go to high school, they usually go by bike. When the student has a handicap (or goes to a special education school) and is therefore not able to go to school by a regular bike, he or she gets a budget from the municipality to pay for a taxi to go to school with (with a normal taxi, there aren't different taxis for student who go to school) or for an annual season ticket so the students can use public transport.
When the students go to college, they get a free annual season ticket from the government, so they can use the public transport for free.
In New Zealand, student transport is sometimes provided by the New Zealand Ministry of Education through school bus contractors or general bus companies. Bus companies generally have a fleet of older transit buses or coaches, different from the newer public service fleet vehicles to cater for school services. While carrying students are marked by either "SCHOOL", "SCHOOL BUS", "KURA" (Maori for "school"), or pictograms of children in black on a fluorescent chartreuse background, and a limited on the open road to 80 km/h (50 mph) . These signs all indicate that a motorist should slow to 20 km/h (12 mph) when passing a stationary bus in either direction
A student is entitled to free school bus transport if they attend the closest state or state integrated school appropriate for the student's year level and gender, and in the case of a state integrated school, the special character the student or parents identifies with. However, students are not entitled to transport if they live within 3.2 km (2.0 mi) of the school for primary school students (ages 5–12) or within 4.8 km (3.0 mi) of the school for secondary school students (ages 13–18). Students are also not eligible if there are suitable public transport services between the school and the student's residence, ruling out free transport in most cities.
Free school busing is a fast-diminishing phenomenon in New Zealand. It has historically favored rural students. As population migration trends internal to New Zealand have favored the growth of cities, it is an increasingly smaller minority of students who are served by school buses. Parents, acting as chauffeurs, are filling this gap, with multiple negative consequences (e.g., productivity losses for the New Zealand workforce, increased vehicular traffic interfering with commercial or industrial traffic well into the work-day, increased carbon footprint, diminished development of transport self-management skills in early teenagers, dangerous concentrations of hectic motoring near congested school entrances at school start-times, etc.). The matter occasionally surfaces in the New Zealand media, but making free school busing the norm is usually dismissed as another example of American-style thinking.
Before school buses were introduced, from 1924 onwards, rural children rode to school and left their horses in the school paddock, known as a glebe in some areas. The Education Department paid about 4d a day towards the upkeep of each horse.
In the United Kingdom, most student transport is performed by ordinary transit buses. These buses can be used for other purposes when not in use for school journeys. Most children use local scheduled public transport bus services. In almost all cases, dedicated school transport bus services in the UK are contracted out to local bus companies.
Switch to dedicated school buses
In the United Kingdom, there are concerns about children's safety after they have alighted from conventional buses used for student transport. There are also more general worries about safety, such as lack of seatbelts, crowded buses, and in Northern Ireland especially, the use of "three for two" seating, where three children are expected to sit on a bench seat intended for two passengers.
Other concerns include poorly maintained buses, drivers' backgrounds, children travelling on public buses and school children's behaviour. In one case, two 14- and 15-year-old children fell out of a bus window, after they leaned on the side of the Premiere Travel bus they were travelling on.
As a result of this, over the past decade, starting in around 2000, the talk of and introduction of dedicated, yellow student-specific school buses has been widespread. In 2005, it was reported that the introduction of such buses would "save pupils". As well as safety benefits, it would also be better to the environment.
The Walk to school campaign is a British campaign promoting the benefits of walking to school. It is run by the charities Living Streets and Travelwise. It receives funding from the Department for Transport and Transport for London.
Walking buses have remained popular. The first walking bus in the United Kingdom was introduced in 1998 by Hertfordshire County Council and used by students of Wheatfields Junior School in St Albans in 1998 
United States of America
In the United States, purpose-built school buses are the primary means of student transport, almost always provided without charge to families. In the US, the term, "busing" is also used to refer to desegregation busing, the transport of students to schools other than the closest local school for increased racial integration.
Each year, school buses provide an estimated 10 billion student trips in the United States. Every school day, 475,000 school buses transport 25 million children to and from schools and school-related activities. School buses are purchased or leased by some school districts, while other school districts engage the service of school bus contractors to perform this function. Approximately 40% of school districts in the United States use contractors to handle the function of student transport.
However, the use of standard public transit buses is increasingly common in urban areas. For example, New York City provides yellow school bus service to select students based on grade level and their distance from the school, but relies on the public New York City Transit bus system to transport students in grades 7-12 and younger students where dedicated school bus service is unavailable. Free or half-price transit passes are provided by the school system for this purpose. Some public transit services may provide "tripper service" with routes designed to serve local schools. Such routes are regularly scheduled transit routes that are open to the public and, by law, cannot be used exclusively for school transportation, but are drawn to connect local schools to nearby communities and transit centers.
- Bus driver
- Desegregation busing in the United States
- Driver visibility
- List of school bus manufacturers
- Walking bus
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to School buses.|
- School Bus Fleet Magazine - news magazine for student transportation professionals
- School Transportation News - news magazine for student transportation professionals
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