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Uphill Both Ways For Planet: Kids Take "Walking School Bus"

Uphill Both Ways For Planet: Kids Take "Walking School Bus"

School's back in session. What's one thing we sure learned over our summer vacation? Gas costs a lot, and vehicles tend to need a steady supply of it in order to run. That includes school buses, which usually take pricey diesel that's up 34 percent in the past two years. Some Missouri parents had to get creative after the school district slashed transportation costs, eliminating bus routes — they formed a "walking school bus."

The idea is this: the neighborhood parents take turns "driving" or supervising the kids on the half-mile walk to school every morning. There are a bunch of benefits to the plan and not just for the environment. To see what they are,


Walking gets the kids some needed exercise, and actually lets them sleep in as it's faster than hopping the bus. This, plus it's a return to basics. According to the National Household Travel Survey, in 1969 almost half of students walked to school, dropping to only 16 percent in 2001. One kid loves the change saying, "It's like recess before school."

Despite worries that kids roaming the street are less safe than those on a bus, some are hoping the new walking idea holds — because one school bus replaces 36 private vehicles, if parents decide to start dropping kids off at school, the benefits won't get a passing grade at all.


ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i read about this a lot last year and i think that it's a GREAT idea if you're in a community that's condusive to this. i think that you're teaching your kids that there are fun alternatives for driving all the time, and you can spend quality time with your kids and the neighbors. it's bringing back the whole 'walking to school' philosophy that our parents told us that they did all the time when they were 'our age'
outofhere outofhere 9 years
A perfect solution to the problem - it benefits everyone!
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
This seems like a fantastic idea! Very few of the kids in our neighborhood walk to school since there are no sidewalks. And there is a fairly major road the kids need to cross that doesn't have stoplights or even stop signs. If there was parent supervision, most parents would probably feel a lot safer letting their kids walk in. Our school bus rule is a mile. Of course, my son goes to school in the next district over, so it's a moot point for us.
verily verily 9 years
I think this is a very good idea. I drive past a school every day that has lots of kids walking to it, so I guess they already enforce a 1/2 mile policy or something here. When I was a child, I walked to school both ways, sometimes uphill, and in the snow! I usually walked with one or two other kids at least. :fogey: Then, I moved to Texas where all my schools were at least 10 miles away and there was no such thing as a sidewalk in the residential areas. That's when I started to gain weight too. Go fig.
joy76 joy76 9 years
This is a concept that is practiced in the scandanivian countries and we have been trying to adopt in the UK for a while now. However the reduced perception of safety is the challenge in getting parents to take it on. I think it is a fantastic idea if all concerned consider it.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Also, right when I started elementary school, they changed the bussing from 1/2 mile to 3/4 of a mile, so I had to walk to school. I loved it really, I felt very special. When the weather was really bad in the winter though, I had to get rides from my family, but I'm sure they could set up a carpool or something.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
I love this idea! What a fun way to bond with your neighbors, etc. It might be kind of hard to organize, but if they can organize school bus routes, this shouldn't be too hard!
Michelann Michelann 9 years
What's with the avatars? It's getting hard to tell you liberals apart ;)
rabidmoon rabidmoon 9 years
This is fantastic: 1)It saves on gasoline 2)It gives them exercise 3)It gives parents and kids an opportunity to chat and walk together, always good.
amybdk amybdk 9 years
:) you tell me!
stephley stephley 9 years
Of one mind, or have one mind - :ponder:
amybdk amybdk 9 years
You liberals are all alike! :wink:
amybdk amybdk 9 years
OH my goodness. I am 1)Dizzy, 2)Super Jealous, 3)Confused. What's with the snazzy red liberal avatars?
stephley stephley 9 years
Around here, you don't get a school bus if you live within three miles of the school. We walk about five blocks from the city bus to school each morning - it gives me time to talk to my kid when we're both feeling relatively calm. In the afternoon, it lets her walk off a little of the post-school crabbiness. If it's good for the environment and the school system, then this is a win-win-win.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
The bus drivers never seem to care, either, unless the kids are doing something that's actively disrupting their driving.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
I feel totally old but yeah, we definitely had to walk a half mile to school on our own growing up. At least!
True-Song True-Song 9 years
Good point, Jude. I was just talking to someone the other day about what a cess pool of unsupervised bullying the bus is.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
This seems like a really good idea on a lot of levels. Save money that can be spent on other things, get the kids outdoors and exercising, plus that parental supervision to help curb the schoolbus bullying stuff--nice.
Vespa Vespa 9 years
I didn't realize buses picked up kids who went less than a half mile to school. When I was a kid, you had to live more than a mile away to get bus service.
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