School buses are expensive

One thing that may not be visible to those who live in the US is that school buses simply don’t exist in many schools of the world because schools are so close to everyone and easily accessible by walking/biking.

US is notoriously built for cars. That means places are farther apart and there aren’t good pedestrian/bike paths. As a result, schools should cover a huge area and often it is impossible for kids to walk or bike to school. Thus, schools should run extensive school bus service.

For instance, I’m living right next to an elementary school. A large part of school district is essentially cut off by a dangerous, blind-drive hill without any pedestrian sidewalk nor safe bike path (near 10th & smith Rd.). This means everyone west of that hill should either take the bus, drive, or risk their lives everyday walking on the shoulder of a dangerous road.

Not having a safe path for walking or biking is expensive. Each school bus costs 300,000. If it runs for 10-15 years, this is about 30,000. Maintenance & fuel may cost 40,000. And then we need a driver. We are not even considering the cost of acquiring and managing parking lots, support staffs, etc. All and all, this can reach up to 100,000 every year.

The lack of accessibility to school is expensive. Because schools are inaccessible without cars, we are paying for buses, cars, and parking lots instead of great teachers.