As unbelievable as it sounds the school bus turned 194 this year! At the dawn of its 200th anniversary, it continues its inevitable journey towards modernity. Highlights of this yellow giant The school bus first appeared on UK country roads in 1827. A certain George Shillibeer had imagined an imposing cart pulled by two horses and capable of transporting 25 children to the place of their school (see image).
This invention will slowly arrive in Canada and the United States in the 2 nd half of the 19 th century when the distance between the place of residence and the school is often very large.
At the beginning of the 20th century, several developments will affect the design of school buses. Most important was the transition from horsepower to motor propulsion. In the wake of this “motorization”, major car manufacturers, including Ford, began to design and manufacture buses.
It was really in 1939 that the school bus as we know it today was its appearance. An expert in rural education, Dr. Frank Cyr, summoned dozens of experts during a stay at Columbia University. The result is 44 design standards all aimed at increasing the safety of children and making it easier to transport them.
It is within the framework of this conference that we will forever set the yellow color of our dear school bus: the National School Bus Glossy Yellow! The reason is simple: the human eye recognizes the color yellow faster than any other color, so it increases the safety around the school bus which is recognized day or night, regardless of the light.
Other advances, both in terms of production capacity, standards and materials will also mark the course of history.
But it was in the early 2000s that a turning point began for the school bus. In the wake of the energy transition and the electrification of transport, several innovations are emerging and allow us to dream of a future where school buses will no longer emit pollutants or greenhouse gases.
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a big yellow bus moving quietly, emitting no pollutants and protecting our darling children with collision detection systems. A bus that costs less to operate because it consumes no fossil fuels and could even one day act as a big battery to power our buildings at night and during periods of inactivity.
Although we are not quite there yet, this vision of the future will clearly mark the evolution of the bus in the coming years. That being said, whether it drives itself, whether it protects our children as the ward of our eyes, whether it flies or hovers, there is no doubt that the school bus will stay for everything. never a place of gathering and lasting memories for our kids!