LaHood to Attend School Bus Event At Tuckahoe

by ARLnow.com February 7, 2013 at 3:45 pm 16 Comments

Ray LahoodOutgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will speak at a “school bus celebration” at Arlington’s Tuckahoe Elementary School next week.

The event, on Feb. 12, is being organized by the American School Bus Council for its Love the Bus campaign. The campaign is intended to “raise awareness and appreciation for the hundreds of thousands of school bus drivers who safely transport children to and from school.”

The American School Bus Council is supported in part by school bus manufacturers.

Tuckahoe students will hear speeches from LaHood and local officials about “being respectful to their bus drivers and appreciating the safety, environmental, and congestion mitigation benefits of the yellow school bus.”

The event comes with a bit of irony — Arlington Public Schools ran into controversy at the beginning of the school year when administrators announced that hundreds of students were no longer eligible to ride the bus to school.

The press release about the Love the Bus event, after the jump.

The American School Bus Council announced that U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has accepted an invitation to serve as the lead speaker at its 2013 Love the Bus Main Event on February 12th at Tuckahoe Elementary School in Arlington, VA.

Love the Bus, which began in 2007 and is held every February, is a month-long celebration of the importance of the iconic yellow school bus, and includes events at schools and other locations around the country. It raises awareness and appreciation for the experience of riding the bus to school and the diverse set of individuals whose daily efforts make the yellow school bus what it is today.

At the Main Event, elementary school students will hear from Secretary LaHood, as well as locally-elected officials and school administrators about being respectful to their bus drivers and appreciating the safety, environmental, and congestion mitigation benefits of the yellow school bus. Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have shown that school buses are the safest mode of transportation to and from school for children, and that every school bus takes approximately 36 cars off the road every morning and afternoon.

One group that will receive special recognition at the event is the hundreds of thousands of school bus drivers who safely transport millions of children to and from school every day. Tuckahoe Elementary students who participate in the event will draw pictures of their buses and even send Love the Bus Valentine’s Day cards to their bus drivers. LoveTheBus.com includes an educator’s toolkit for crafting bus-specific lesson plans and a variety of bus-themed downloads, such as Love the Bus t-shirt templates and bumper magnets.

Ken Hedgecock, Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Service at Thomas Built Buses said, “Love The Bus presents us with the opportunity to show our appreciation for the role each individual in the pupil transportation community plays in providing safe, efficient and effective transportation for our nation’s children.” National School Transportation Association Executive Director Ronna Sable Weber added, “Love the Bus is a tremendous opportunity for kids who ride the bus to show their appreciation for the drivers who take them to and from school, and focus on the important role the school bus plays in their day-to-day lives.”

For more information about other Love the Bus events around the country or for assistance with planning additional events or procuring American School Bus Council marketing materials, interested individuals are asked to contact ASBC at 866-955-2722, or visit www.americanschoolbuscouncil.com. ASBC can also be found at Facebook.com/LoveTheBus and Twitter.com/WeLoveTheBus.


ASBC is a coalition of public and private transportation providers, school bus manufacturers and state officials responsible for pupil transportation. The Council’s members include NAPT (National Association for Pupil Transportation), NASDPTS (National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services), NSTA (National School Transportation Association), Blue Bird Corp. of Fort Valley, Ga., IC Corporation of Warrenville, Ill., and Thomas Built Buses of High Point, N.C.

  • Hank

    Anybody else pre-gaming this event? It’s going to be off the hook!

    • CourthouseChris

      Right there with you. I reccomend transportation-themed drinks, I’ll be having Greyhounds and of course my old standby, Night Train.

  • John Fontain

    The kids will be happy to not be in class, but seriously ACPS, you’re taking kids away from valuable learning time so that they can attend a PR event organized by a school bus manufacturers’ lobbying entity?

    • DCBuff

      You make a valid point; however, Secretary LaHood is a stand-up guy and he will focus his participation on safety. Hopefully, the teachers also will be able to integrate a bit of a civics lesson concerning U.S. Government into it for the older grades.

  • cancelled

    Short Bus event to follow

    • short bus parent

      Not funny.

  • Buckingham Bandit

    This is such an inane event. Does anyone really not know what a yellow school bus is?

    I think its fine to tell kids why its important to be nice to bus drivers, but I wasn’t the least bit surprised when I saw that Big Schoolbus (Jesus, is there anything that doesn’t have a lobby in this town) was organizing it.

    Also, wouldn’t the most constructive way to bring about “environmental, and congestion mitigation benefits” be giving bus passes to students who live in a Metrobus/Arlington Transit route, and thus avoid duplicating redundancy? I spent a summer in a small city in Germany, and there were no school buses for children because kids who needed to take a bus took a city bus.

    • Loco Parentis

      Kids on public buses wouldn’t fly in Arl because parents here are so patheically indulgent and coddle their kids. God forbid a kid have to walk a couple of blocks. On my street, parents walk their kids to the bus stop that is not even a block away and deep in our residential area–and some of the kids are 8 or 9.

      When I was in elementary school, I walked/rode a bike a mile.

      • DCBuff

        And, you obviously don’t have kids now. Individuals who comment based not on relevant information but on personal anecdotes and use those anecdotes to criticize the decisions of others are the ones who are pathetic.

      • emanon

        Our entire neighborhood converged on the elementary school bus stop every day until our kids were done with 5th grade – not because we coddled our kids, but because we enjoyed seeing our adult friends for 10 or 15 minutes before heading off to work or the gym or back home to do housework. It was a nice way to start the morning.

  • Marc

    I’ve got one of my kids convinced to ask Secretary LaHood why he doesn’t have a jetpack yet?

  • novasteve

    Isn’t this guy’s son being held by Iran or was?

  • novasteve

    Just curious. I haven’t been on a school bus probably since 1991, so do they have seatbelts or not on them? I remember they tried to put seatbelts on busses when I was a kid, but then retracted the rule. Nobody wore them anyways.

    • emanon

      There are only a few schools that provide transportation for preschoolers, but preschoolers are belted in. Older kids are not, and belts are not even available. I don’t know how hard and fast a rule that is, but that has been our experience over the past 3 years (with kids of preschool and elementary school age).


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