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

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Bus driver Wendy Todys demonstrates both the right and wrong way to cross the street in front of a school 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 5.  

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:

  • A school bus holds 21 quarts of oil, 6 gallons of antifreeze and 100 gallons of fuel;
  • The average life cycle of a Westerville City School bus is 15 years;
  • Each morning before a bus is used to transport students, the bus driver performs a safety inspection on more than 180 items;
  • A school bus engine has a horsepower range of 200 – 280; and
  • The roof of school buses are painted white to help keep the inside cooler. 

Transportation administrators Becky Nitz and Chris Winesette 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 17 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.