APS Department of Transportation and Arlington Transportation Partners have created a new event, Bus to School Day, October 21, 2015, to recognize school-bus eligible students who ride the school bus and staff who ride ART and Metro buses. Riding the bus is an environmentally-friendly, safe way to get to school, and is just as important as walking and biking.
Closely following a successful Walk and Bike to School Day, Bus to School Day is the perfect opportunity to recognize students who live outside of the walk zone and ride the school bus. The new event will also recognize APS staff who currently ride an ART bus or a Metro bus to school, helping to reduce vehicle traffic at their schools and around their neighborhoods.
Riding the bus instead of driving to school also has an immediate and powerful environmental impact. One bus emits 192lbs of CO2 per year per person, compared to 1200 lbs to drive alone to school, or 1920 lbs if a parent drives a student to school. Riding a bus is the environmentally friendly option for students and staff who are not able to walk or bike to school.
Developed to correspond with National School Bus Safety Week, October 19-23, 2015, schools will join in the fun with informative Bus to School Day trivia questions and stickers to raise awareness of APS’s bus fleet and operations, as well as safety tips for students riding the bus.
Other bus-related activities that schools can think about during Bus Safety Week include promoting the discount iRide SmarTrip card to teens, adopting nearby ART bus stops and incorporating transit training for teens, to help them become pro bus riders with independence and flexibility at their fingertips. It is also a good time to encourage staff who ride the bus to sign up for Guaranteed Ride Home, so they have a backup plan in place. These activities are all Champions activities that schools can do to help move up levels, or to introduce the program to schools not yet participating.
Recognizing buses as one of many transportation options is one way of achieving APS’s multimodal goals in the APS GO! Initiative. Encouraging bus ridership across all ages (adults too!), for any trip around Arlington as well as getting to school, makes Arlington a place where it is easy and desirable for everyone to choose to get around by transit, walking, biking and sharing the ride.
For more information and to become a Champion, contact Elizabeth Denton at 703-247-6997 or Elizabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graphic: APS Transportation Website