School Bus in snow

School Bus

An incredibly undervalued resource in communities across Canada and the U.S. is the humble school bus. These bumble-bee yellow transports ferry the hopes and dreams of North American youth to places of education, in turn helping build the society and educate the citizens of tomorrow. Seriously.

School buses are (almost) exclusive to the North American continent. Like many around the world, I had to hoof it two miles in each direction to get to school (uphill both ways, of course), and woe betide me if I arrived late for registration. No excuses were brooked. Anyway…

In Canada, school bus drivers are among the many unsung heroes of society. They put up with abuse from their charges that parents would not believe. Stop at every train track and get abused by drivers. Put out their STOP signs and cause tailbacks as children board, abused by those in the cars behind. Some drivers ignore the STOP signs and fly past, cheerfully abusing the bus drivers as they go.

Add in occasional abuse from bosses and school staff and sport coaches and… well. Being a school bus driver can be a thankless job.

Without school buses, parents would often have to stay home from work. Which they do, on snow days. But even in the middle of the coldest winter the hardy school bus driver stands ready to climb out of bed just after the snow plough drivers, waiting for the word. They stand ready to run into sub-zero temperatures and sit in cold metal boxes to go collect your little darlings and ferry them, through snow and storm and ice and sleet, to their designated places of learning. And do it all again to get them home.

Thank you.


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