New York Magazine

The Urbanist: Beyond the Yellow Bus

How kids get to school in cities around the world.

IN THE U.S. AT LEAST, the late-summer season marks the beginning of the school year. How kids commute to class might seem like the least of parents’ educational concerns, but the solutions reflect a daunting matrix of values and opportunities. In the U.S., where 25 million kids pile into golden-yellow buses each morning, new initiatives are encouraging biking and walking to school as important ways to foster independence, overall health, and cognitive development. Meanwhile, parents in some communities have faced censure for letting their kids walk at all. Last school year, a Tennessee mother was charged with neglect after making her daughters walk as punishment for misbehaving on the bus (she was driving slowly near them in a gold Cadillac). “Smartbuses”

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