School Buses – A symptom of a larger problem

CBC News reports that:

The P.E.I. government will be taking about a third of its school buses off the road immediately, and pulling the rest on Thursday and Friday after problems were found in some of the vehicles, the province announced …

All of the province’s older buses, 104 of the 320 vehicles, were being pulled off the road Wednesday. Students who had been dropped off at school already would be shuttled back home using newer buses and could expect long delays.

This is one symptom of our industrial school system. We are addicted to cheap transportation. Eighty years ago we closed down local schools and created factory schools that required a bus system to transport students back and forth each day, using large quantities of fossil fuels. Gas prices will continue to go up and therefore the cost of our aging infrastructure maintenance will increase. Industrial schools were premised on cheap transportation and centralised control. It’s time to consider decentralisation, especially since we have the information and communications technologies to support a wider variety of schools and administrative options. As with learning, one size no longer fits all.

The same can be said for the way that we structure our workplaces and our cities. We need to look at long-term options that let us live in a more environmentally sustainable manner. More people have to understand the scope of the problem and we have to keep pushing the issue, especially with politicians, planners and anyone in charge of publicly-funded organisations.

3 Responses to “School Buses – A symptom of a larger problem”

  1. chris

    Can’t see anything short of peak oil resulting in the kind of changes you’re describing, but I agree with you.

  2. Chris

    My biggest problem is that they couldn’t have decided to do this on some other day when there was no school, or parents had more notice than half a day? They certainly knew about the issue back in 2006 (http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/index.cfm?sid=132629&sc=98). The whole thing reeks of mismanagement that once again plagues the provincial government.

  3. andrea wilson

    Would this not be an opportune time to insist on seat-belts being installed in the new school buses? Every time my children have gone on a school trip I have cringed, prayed and fretted over their safety. It seems to me that PEI has a window of opportunity they should seize. Insist on seat-belts!

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