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SF considers adding more yellow school buses

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There are about 25 yellow school buses in operation today in San Francisco. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)
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Yellow school buses may once again roam San Francisco streets in great number.

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority will explore funding a study on how to revive funding for yellow school buses in San Francisco, officials said in a transportation authority meeting Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Unified School District has begun its own year-long study of various transportation initiatives, including reintroducing yellow school buses.

As many as 200 yellow school buses ferried students to school in the 1970s, but the buses effectively vanished from The City’s transportation infrastructure in 2010, when the SFUSD made cuts due to the recession, district officials said previously.

The fleet’s some 25 buses serve some 2,000 general education students today.

The discussion to revive yellow school buses took place during a broader discussion over transportation options for the 45,000 public or private elementary school children in San Francisco.

“We were facing severe state cuts from lack of funding” when the yellow school bus fleet was scaled back, said Supervisor Jane Kim, also a transportation authority commissioner.

“Why don’t we bring that back?” she continued. “I would really like to explore this option with the funding that we have.”

Nik Kaestner, director of sustainability at the SFUSD, told Kim and the other commissioners that a school district transportation working group has begun to explore new transportation options to help students in the district, and that one proposal on the table includes exploring how to fund the expansion of yellow school buses.

“School buses, I think, have a lot of potential,” Kaestner said.

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