Letters to the Editor

Time to get those old school buses off the roads

Thanks to $200 million from Proposition 1B, thousands of school children will be riding on cleaner, safer, more modern school buses than ever before.

School Bus One, the oldest of nearly 200 other Elvis-era buses built before laptops, cell phones or Blackberries were ever crammed into backpacks, was officially retired on Dec. 8 in Mojave and will be placed in a museum as a reminder of days gone by.

It is also a reminder of progress in cleaning up air pollution, in part caused by older, high-polluting vehicles. Those buses are now being replaced with newer, safer, cleaner models that better protect our children from toxic diesel emissions.

An Air Resources Board study that tracked cars and trucks along Los Angeles freeways demonstrated that many drivers get their biggest dose of air pollution during commuting to and from work. For some children, the bus ride to school can also expose them to diesel emissions, as toxics seep into the vehicle from the engine compartment.

It's time to provide children with newer, safer and less polluting buses, so that the next time we see an older school bus, it will be in a museum and not at the bus stop.

Dr. Robert F. Sawyer


California Air Resources Board