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Editorial: Bus ridership all year long

As PTSA President Denise Katz points out in her column this week, the Vashon Island School District needs Island kids to ride the bus next week. Even those kids who use the bus only occasionally should ride next week, each and every morning, she says, to ensure the district is fully compensated for the high costs of operating its fleet of buses.

But here’s the bigger issue: Vashon kids, unless, of course, they’re walkers, should not be occasional bus riders — they should be frequent riders.

What are we teaching our children when we taxi them to school each day at a time when oil depletion is grabbing headlines and buses are readily available? That those environmental issues are someone else’s problems? That their lives are too important to spend 30 to 40 minutes on a bus? To chauffeur our children to school — at this point in history when we know so much about the impact fossil fuel consumption is having on the environment and the world — is to make a powerful statement to our kids, a statement many parents probably don’t really want to make.

Sure, there will be exceptions — a morning when a child is running late, has a cold or needs a special boost. But those days should be the exception, not the rule.

So yes, ride the bus next week, kids. And the week after that. And the week after that. It’s an inconvenience, of course. It takes time. But it’s a small price to pay for what that simple act of bus ridership is helping to accomplish ­— a boost not only to our school district but also our planet.

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