Local school districts are right to be freaked out by this attempt to curtail some public bus routes serving students. But, in the forest and trees category, there is a bigger set of issues here. In fact, shouldn’t we be going in the other direction and trying to get school districts out of the busing business altogether? Big school districts like to boast about how they bus more passengers each day than Greyhound. That’s true, but also sort of insane if you think about it and consider that their primary mission is teaching and learning.
Besides, today’s buses are horrendous polluters even when greener technology is available, control over transportation means control over parental decision-making, and school districts often aren’t even very good at designing efficient transportation schemes or adapting to changing circumstances like $4 gas, which was not exactly an unforeseen issue in the transportation world…Student safety means that, especially for younger students you want to be careful about how you merge transportation schemes, but having local or regional agencies that handle transportation would pay a lot of dividends if was approached with the dual principles of being greener and more parent-and civic friendly at the front-end.