The School Bus, Past and Present


By Paige Mathieu

Bus drivers are an important part of students’ daily lives.  Students may take the bus to school in the morning, drop students off at home at the end of the day, or bring a sports team to their next game.

The school bus was originally a wagon, and farmers volunteered to drive the students to school. However, the majority of students walked. Years later, when the first motorized vehicles were being produced, people saw the need for a bus to transport students to and from school, especially in rural areas.  However, Amish people still use the wagon today, but instead of being made out of wood, as it used to be, the school bus is made out of steel and shatter-proof glass.   

A common question to ask about school buses is, “Why are school buses yellow?”  School buses are a specific color of yellow called, “National school bus chrome”.  When a committee was first creating the school bus, they decided that school buses needed a color that would stick out to people in many different weather conditions. The committee thought about painting the American flag on the buses but decided against the idea. The folder with the proposal for motorized school buses happened to be yellow, and so, in the end, they ended up choosing yellow as the national school bus color. The Amish people also use this color of yellow to distinguish their school buses from other vehicles.

According to the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services’s report written in 2000, 4 billion miles are traveled annually for school buses. Also, 24 million students are transported annually. Because of the increase in school bus transportation, safety measures had to take place. In fact, on Wednesday, September 28, bus drivers informed Salisbury High School students about safety on the bus.

Bus drivers drive the bus on a daily basis, which allows students to get to school.  Without them, it would be a struggle for students to get to and from school. Next time a student boards the bus, they should be happy that they are not walking, and maybe they should say thank you to their bus driver.

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