12 June 2013

I Want A New Bus (Apologies to Huey Lewis and the News)

I grew up during the 1960's and early 1970's, when all sorts of upheavals and other changes were roiling.  There was, of course the Vietnam War--would it still be raging when I was old enough for the draft?--and the protests related to it, the civil rights movementand other events of the day.  

Some of those protests involved school busing.  It was being used to intergrate previously single-race schools, whether those schools' monochromaticness (Is that a real word?) was by design or a consequence of history (i.e., segregation).  As you can imagine, a lot of white parents weren't happy to see their kids bussed to schools that had been all (or mainly) black or Latino (the two main non-white groups of the time),  Some fierce protests ensued--perhaps the most notorious being the one in South Boston.

(It should also be noted that many parochial and other private schools opened their doors during that time.)

But all of those parents who didn't want their kids to ride buses or sit in classrooms with kids darker than themselves (I don't mean to imply that this was the sole motivation behind opposition to busing) were tilting at the wrong windmill.  Actually, there was a much better reason for them to keep their kids off buses and, instead, attending their local schools.

Most of the kids who were forced to ride buses would have otherwise walked or ridden bicycles (or, today, skateboards) to their local schools.  That's more exercise than a lot of kids get today:  I can't help but to wonder if the skyrocketing rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes among children and teenagers would have been prevented, at least in part, if more of them weren't riding buses to school.

Now, of course, I realize that in some places, particularly rural areas, the school is too far away for someone to commute on his or her feet or a pair of wheels.  So, perhaps, they have no choice but to take a bus.

Here is a solution to that dilemma (and the high cost of fuel) from--where else?--the Netherlands:

From PBT Consulting

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