At EnviroCentre we love school buses (and their drivers!)
When we think of the benefits of school buses, we often think of the convenience they provide to children as they travel to and from school. But did you know there are many environmental benefits too?
School buses reduce the number of vehicles on the road. The Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) reported that 70,000 students used buses to get to school in 2019/2020. Without school buses, many of these children would be travelling to school in individual vehicles. Thousands of additional vehicles would be on Ottawa’s roads, burning fuel, emitting greenhouse gases, reducing air quality and contributing to climate change. School buses play an important role in helping Ottawa achieve its climate targets and keeping school zones safe for everyone.
Riding the school bus leads to long-standing sustainable transportation habits. When children engage in sustainable behaviours, such as riding the bus when they are young, they are more likely to continue this behaviour as adults. Research shows that children who interact and engage with the natural world as children are more likely to exhibit positive environmental behaviours as adults. Similarly, children with high levels of physical activity, including walking to school, are more likely to have high levels of physical activity as adults. The same is true for children who are accustomed to riding the school bus. These children are comfortable riding the bus and it becomes a social norm and part of their lifestyle that leads to bus ridership as an adult. Whether on a school bus or taking public transit, contributing to the reduction of cars on the road benefits our whole community.
How do School Bus Drivers Help?
OSTA’s school bus drivers are a vital part of our community. They provide a safe and convenient way for children to get to school. They create a positive experience while forming long-term sustainable transportation behaviours for years to come. Whether they know it or not, they are Enviro-champs!