School's back in session. What's one thing we sure learned over our summer vacation? Gas costs a lot, and vehicles tend to need a steady supply of it in order to run. That includes school buses, which usually take pricey diesel that's up 34 percent in the past two years. Some Missouri parents had to get creative after the school district slashed transportation costs, eliminating bus routes — they formed a "walking school bus."
The idea is this: the neighborhood parents take turns "driving" or supervising the kids on the half-mile walk to school every morning. There are a bunch of benefits to the plan and not just for the environment. To see what they are, read more.
Walking gets the kids some needed exercise, and actually lets them sleep in as it's faster than hopping the bus. This, plus it's a return to basics. According to the National Household Travel Survey, in 1969 almost half of students walked to school, dropping to only 16 percent in 2001. One kid loves the change saying, "It's like recess before school."
Despite worries that kids roaming the street are less safe than those on a bus, some are hoping the new walking idea holds — because one school bus replaces 36 private vehicles, if parents decide to start dropping kids off at school, the benefits won't get a passing grade at all.