Monday, June 30, 2008

Going the extra mile

Mass transit may not be the solution, either. Maybe it's time to introduce these kids to the telecommute.

In suburban areas like Seattle's Northshore district, the Times reports, school officials are asking children to walk farther to their bus stops so districts can squeeze a few more miles per gallon.

The scaling back of bus routes could be an inconvenience to parents, but provided there's a safe sidewalk to use, a little extra walk won't hurt most students. Reacting to the new bus route by dropping kids off in the family SUV would not be the best solution, from an environmental perspective; reducing unnecessary school bus trips is. Older diesel school buses can pump out twice the asthma-inducing pollution of a tractor trailer. (Click here for an analysis of the greenest ways to get your kid to school.)

I walked a mile (we measured) to school every day and it didn't kill me. We didn't even have sidewalks for about half the distance. And yes, it was uphill (and downhill) both ways.

Of course, we know what the answer is to the high cost of busing, right? Build trains to the school. Have little Johnny and Mary ride the train every day. And when it comes time re-route the train because Johnny and Mary are going to a different school, we'll just tear up the tracks. Heck, I bet Tim Sheehy's planned trains can get your kids within three miles of your kids' schools.