Considerations for Student Bus Travel

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You see them across Americas freeways; buses filled with college students on their way to athletic events, competitions and outings. Let’s take a fresh look at some of the challenges presented by this mode of travel. In this blog, we will consider the economic, social, and safety of college bus travel. Bus travel is not perfect, but is often a better choice. While a private auto can stop whenever they choose or take an alternate route, there are many benefits to bus travel for students.

Traveling to an event by bus helps to build unity and student moral. It provides an atmosphere where students can interact with one another outside of the formal classroom. Bus trips are often responsible for new friendships, and communication is encouraged by the lack of distractions.

With fuel cost increasing almost daily, using busses to transport 60 or more students to an event is very efficient. Can you imagine having 60 cars on the road to the same event instead? Just the thought of that many college students driving is enough to cause fear in the hearts of any experienced driver. But beyond economics, there is a real concern here for safety.

According to NIAAA, 88% of college students drink alcohol. If students drive themselves (or their friends) to an event, there is the likelihood of them driving back while impaired. A trained, professional bus driver can safely transport our sons and daughters back to their dorms. In 2008, there were 24,000 people reported injured in all types of bus crashes.  While that may seem like a large number, compare it with the 2.35 million injuries from automobile accidents in the same year.

A secondary benefit is that people riding in a bus are far less likely to be killed or injured in a crash than those in an auto. This double benefit – less crashes and less injury – cannot be ignored.

Another safety aspect to be considered with bus travel is a far less likelihood of a student being attacked or robbed while in a group. College students alone can become easy targets, but that liability is decreased as they travel together. We encourage our children to use a buddy system when traveling, and what better method than with 59 of their closest friends. Additionally, many schools often provide a chaperone or staff to accompany the traveling group of students. Teachers, coaches and other adults are also a benefit to the safety of our students.

When we consider all the facts, it makes sense for college students to use charter bus service whenever it is available. Cheaper, safer and really just more fun, buses fill a need that would be hard-pressed to be replaced.

Thomas Masterson is a career advisor and content contributor for thebestcolleges.org, a website providing a list of cheap online schools as well as college rankings for a multitude of specialty programs.