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

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Bus driver Joe LeGros talks about safety with first time riders and their parents.



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 1.  

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 a clown, receive a balloon, 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:

  • Nationally, 450,000+ school buses transport more than 24 million students each day;
  • The basic design of a school bus has not changed since 1977;
  • Westerville City School buses use over 1,100 gallons of diesel fuel every school day;
  • The average Westerville City School bus travels more than 12,000 miles annually; and
  • School buses are equipped with brake systems that allow them to stop in shorter distances than other vehicles of comparable size/weight.

Becky Nitz and Chris Winesette, assistant managers of Transportation, were grateful for the massive turnout by community members; for perfect weather; and for staff members who participated in this important activity.  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.