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School buses are great for families and communities — so why are fewer kids using them than ever before?

Recent data shows that, for the first time in U.S. history, more students are riding to school in cars than in school buses. In fact, according to the Federal Highway Administration’s National Household Travel Survey, in 2022, 53 percent of U.S. students were getting dropped off at school or driving themselves.

Beyond transporting students to and from school, the school bus plays a crucial role in fostering vibrant, connected communities, starting with the baseline benefit on every parent’s mind: safety.

1. Safety

School buses have long been the safest mode of transportation for students. In fact, they are some of the most regulated vehicles out there. With reinforced bodies, high seat backs, flashing lights, and stop signs, school buses create a protective environment that significantly reduces the risk of accidents.

2. Equity

School buses help ensure that all children have access to on-site education, regardless of their location or socioeconomic background. In areas where public transportation is scarce or parents are unable to drive children to school, buses bridge the gap.

Additionally, school buses are equipped to transport students with disabilities, ensuring they have access to appropriate educational facilities, empowering every child to engage in educational opportunities.

3. Environment

Let’s face it: More cars driving kids to school means more tailpipe emissions for young lungs to breathe. According to the American School Bus Council, a single school bus can replace approximately 36 cars on the road, dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.

4. Community

At their best, school buses serve as hubs of community interaction. They bring together students from diverse backgrounds, fostering friendships and giving kids a chance to forge lasting connections with their classmates.

5. Cost Savings

Simply put, school buses save money. By pooling resources and minimizing individual transportation expenses, school buses help families and school districts alike get the most out of their transportation budgets.  

School buses are much more than mere vehicles — they’re lifelines that connect communities, keep kids safe, and ensure every child has access to an education.

Need More Reasons?

At Georgia Commute Schools, we want to get families, kids and teachers excited about school buses again. With educational toolkits, activities and curriculum support materials, we’re here to show you why school buses are in our top spot for transporting students of all ages.  Find out more about our resources and promotions here!