How to Save Money for You, Your Parents, Your School, and Reduce Emissions in the Valley


Brayden Cascio

Many Ridgeline students drive themselves to school or are dropped off by their parents. This means that a least a couple hundred cars drive to and from the school every day. The cumulative emissions produced are quite large. In addition to the environmental impact this mass amount of vehicles has, the large number of vehicles also poses an issue to student parking and traffic congestion around the high school. Not to mention the cost of gas to travel to and from school five or more times a week adds up. So what could be done to solve this issue? Students still need to be able to travel to school every week and most are not within walking distance from the school. One possibility encouraged by USU Professor of Marketing, Edwin Stafford, could be more students riding on buses. Mrs. Stallings says that it’d be up to the district to see if we could get more buses; not all students live in the bus route areas. However, if all parties involved were supportive, this could solve the issue of parking space, meaning there’d be no need for a new parking lot and overall, transportation to and from school would be much more efficient and economical. 

 In the presentation given to Ridgeline art students, Professor Stafford said that, parents in some parts of England and Asia are not even allowed to drive their kids to school because of the large resulting emissions output. The lineup causes the exhaust from the cars to go into the intake of the car behind them, which gets pulled into the cab and causes the occupants as well as the loading and unloading students to breathe in the gasses. During winter, like many student drivers, Senior Muriel Lovejoy says, “Before school I sit in my car while it runs, unless it’s warmer outside. Then I turn it off.” This all contributes to the winter inversions that occur here in the valley, which cause poor air quality. If more students rode the buses, it would help reduce this issue and the amount of emissions.

An additional benefit to having more students ride buses is that all of the buses are on a schedule that gets the students to school around twenty minutes before school starts. This would decrease tardiness and improve attendance by removing the possibility of being late and/or locked out of class. 

Riding the bus would also reduce the amount of money students would need to spend on vehicle care and repair as they would no longer have to travel to and from school on their own so often. With fewer cars traveling to and from school, traffic congestion would be significantly reduced and parking space freed up.

While not everyone lives in an area that could have a practical bus route and it may not be necessary for the whole school to ride the bus, if a greater number of students rode the bus, it would have a positive impact in many areas.