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To think maybe an American style school bus could be best solution?

(93 Posts)
whensitmyturn Wed 19-Oct-16 12:48:33

Just the every day drop off for primary schools seems to be getting worse, as intakes are increasing and barely any schools with parking available. Drop offs and pick ups just feel like they are getting more and more dangerous.
Just on an average day I see so many near misses with children and between cars.

Yes in a perfect world everyone would walk but so many drop and go straight to jobs etc

I just think it would be so much better if a school bus picked the children up from their roads, the actual catchment areas for primary schools aren't generally very big so there aren't that many roads to travel down, surely it would take so much traffic off the road?
Do Americans pay extra for this? I would absolutely pay for this but no idea how much it would cost or if even feasible?
Aibu to think it would solve so many safety/ traffic issues in the morning especially?

Mrscog Wed 19-Oct-16 12:53:06

I completely agree. It's so different in the school holidays when there's no school traffic.

Dontpanicpyke Wed 19-Oct-16 12:55:51

We have a provided free school bus if you go to your catchment school in our area. So all through middle school to high school. Aged 9/16..

Stopped down our lane. Fantastic service.

RiverTam Wed 19-Oct-16 13:00:06

It would be absolute hell for those who lived near the school. There are a couple of private schools in our area and the coaches for those clog up the surrounding roads and residents hate it. Most primary schools are situated in residential streets, which aren't anywhere like as wide as streets in Amercia, generally speaking.

Knockmesideways Wed 19-Oct-16 13:00:40

My friend, who lives in a rural part of Kent, has sent her two daughters on the school bus since they started at Reception! Yep, Reception. Two teachers or TAs on the mini bus, mums and dads see the kids onto the bus, strap them in. When they get to school the teacher/TAs unbuckle them and they trot into school. On the way home the reverse happens.

SexTrainGlue Wed 19-Oct-16 13:01:58

You only get free transport if you are over 2 miles from your school (primary) or 3 miles (secondary) (or is the cut off in the middle of KS2 - I can never remember)

So the users would have to pay for it. It's something that the PTA could perhaps arrange, but you'd find that people would have to commit to it in whole term (or even year) chunks to give it a sound enough financial underpinning, and you'd have to work out routes carefully to fit the places where DC can wait safely but isn't so long that the first picked up are spending 45 minutes on the bus.

I doubt it could work at all in the places where there are terrifyingly small admission distances!

FlyingElbows Wed 19-Oct-16 13:03:04

Yes, yes, yes, I've been saying the same thing for years.

HerRoyalNotness Wed 19-Oct-16 13:03:22

We pay for them as part of our property tax. If you live within 1/2mile of school you don't get a ride. Plus all the schools where we are have been built so there are drop off/pick up lanes off the road, doesn't impede the flow of traffic as much.

I think you'd struggle in England with such a system. Maybe mini buses for those furtherest away and a walking shook bus for those closer would work

PickAChew Wed 19-Oct-16 13:03:51

There would still be parents who opted to drive their kids to the bus stop if it was more than 100m from their front door.

Ketsby Wed 19-Oct-16 13:05:01

Fantastic idea. I don't see how congestion would be an issue - the little school bus holding 30 kids is smaller than 30 cars and the times could be staggered.

blamethecat Wed 19-Oct-16 13:05:11

I used to get the bus to first & middle school (30 ish years ago) as both parents worked and neither drove, it certainly worked for us. Although I don't remember any adult other than the driver on the bus ! I would imagine it could work provided that there was somewhere safe for the busses to stop at the school and it would make the roads quieter in the mornings.

LilCamper Wed 19-Oct-16 13:05:34

Our school provides busses for age 6 and over. They all have passes and there is an adult monitor on each bus.

Works out well for us, the stop is at the end of our road.

HerRoyalNotness Wed 19-Oct-16 13:05:38


Plus ours picks up from 7.30am for school start at 8.20. It's quite early for the littles. High school starts an hour before that, so they'd be getting the bus at 6.30!

Dontpanicpyke Wed 19-Oct-16 13:08:10

It's not just the miles from the school it's the lack of pavements on the route. Our middle school was 2 miles but no payments.

Spanielcrackers Wed 19-Oct-16 13:08:11

I didn't pay for the school bus when I lived in the USA.
I wish they were the norm here. The school run traffic is dreadful here. I live close to two primary schools, three preps and a secondary school. I try not to go out between 8 and 9, and 3 and 4.
Our local primary was quoted £100 per child per month for a school bus.

M0nstersinthecl0set Wed 19-Oct-16 13:09:14

We walk. Where I am there is no child who lives more than 1 mile from the school and at the moment a very low number of pupils/ families with mobility issues - yet there's apparently no call for a "walking bus" madness. Utter madness and the cars are blocking the pavement endangering thrir own and other's children for three streets round the school. Our lollipop crossing person got (gently) bumped last week. It's crazy.

nennyrainbow Wed 19-Oct-16 13:16:00

I agree, OP. More energy efficient too than separate car journeys, each with 1 or two children in.

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Wed 19-Oct-16 13:20:29

I was only thinking about this the other day! How much more efficient it could be. Most primaries you'd need maybe one bus per year group as the rest of them could walk.

Andrewofgg Wed 19-Oct-16 13:26:58

Too many parents would insist that their special snowflake has to driven door to door by Mummy or Daddy, no coaches please, that's for other children.

whensitmyturn Wed 19-Oct-16 13:27:08

Glad to see there's other people who think it's a good idea.
There's nothing here that I know of for any public transport help until you get to secondary age.

rivertam its hell currently for most local people living near schools with people blocking them in, selfish parking etc, at least buses would have to adhere to stricter rules, they would take up a lot less room and probably move on a lot quicker.

claraschu Wed 19-Oct-16 13:27:29

We didn't pay for the US school bus. It was fantastic. As someone already said, a couple of busses is infinitely better than 60 separate cars. Also it is a serious offence to drive in either direction past a stopped school bus when it is stopping to pick children up, so kids are protected while they cross the street to and from their bus.

gettingitwrongputtingitright Wed 19-Oct-16 13:28:03

We used to have this to our school very cheap with a chaperone. The council gave the contract to another company so now costs £5 aday with no chaperone. Very few use it, the jmpact on parking and traffic at school is massive.

redexpat Wed 19-Oct-16 13:30:55

It might also help if schools didnt insist on all children being accompanied until y6.

Leeds2 Wed 19-Oct-16 13:33:05

I think this is an excellent idea, although not sure who would fund it.

My DD used a school bus to get to and from secondary school, and it wasn't cheap!

MakeItStopNeville Wed 19-Oct-16 13:33:06

We pay for it via property taxes. And tbh, there is still a massive queue of parents in cars doing pick up and drop off anyway. The buses are a hive for bullying too, especially for the late elementary/middle school kids.

Perhaps, an alternative would be drop off didn't involve parents getting out the car at all. A teacher/aide chaperones the kids from the car to the playground and the parents drive straight off.

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