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

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Youngsters enjoy talking with Buster the Bus.




Hundreds of students in the Westerville City School District, who 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 4.  

At the event, sponsored by the district’s Transportation Department, pupils got the opportunity to explore school buses 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:

  • 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;
  • A school bus averages eight miles per gallon;
  • Each morning before a bus is used to transport students, the bus driver performs a safety inspection on over 180 items; and
  • The average Westerville school bus travels more than 12,000 miles annually. 

Transportation administrators Becky Nitz and Janice Horn were grateful for the turnout by community members; for cooperative weather; and for employees who participated in this important activity.  The staff at Transportation looks forward to the start of school on August 16 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.