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First Time School Bus Riders Gather to Learn About Safely Being Transported

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Children and parents do a little dance with Buster the Bus.




More than 320 parents, students, and family members in the Westerville City School District, many of whom will be riding a school bus for the first time this fall, got a “sneak peek” at how things work during the annual First Time Riders open house, which was held at Whittier Elementary School on Saturday morning, August 3.  

At the event, sponsored by the district’s Transportation Department, pupils got the opportunity to explore school buses and vans up close, learn about safety, take a ride with their parents, participate in hands-on mechanical activities, have their faces painted by clowns, receive a balloon, eat popcorn and popsicles, and meet Buster, a talking, miniature remote-controlled school bus. 

Throughout the exhibit, “fun facts” were posted about school transportation services.  Among other things, attendees learned that:

  • Buses are equipped with a four-camera color digital video recording system;
  • Westerville City School busses use more than 1,100 gallons of diesel fuel every school day;
  • The average life cycle of a Westerville City School bus is 15 years;
  • School busses average eight miles per gallon;
  • The name of the MyVan program was influenced by the idea of providing students with a sense of ownership and belonging;
  • Box trucks, which were also on display, help deliver meals, supplies, furniture, paper and other products to some 25 schools.

Transportation and Warehouse administrators Bob Lynde, Randy Snyder, Janice Horn and Carletta Swackhammer were grateful for the turnout by community members; for cooperative weather; and for employees who participated in this important activity.  Organizing the activity was Samuel Alan Hunt, Student Safety and Discipline Coordinator.

The staff at Transportation looks forward to the start of school on August 13 and reminds everyone to drive carefully and slow down as children make their way back to classes, especially in school zones or when approaching a bus with flashing lights.