New campaign helps students ‘Suss the Bus’

Year 6 students in Tyne and Wear have been learning about the benefits of travelling to their new school by bus thanks to the latest initiative by Schools Go Smarter

Year 6 students in Tyne and Wear have been learning about the benefits of travelling to their new school by bus thanks to the latest initiative by Schools Go Smarter – Tyne and Wear’s sustainable transport programme.

‘Suss the Bus’, run in conjunction with Nexus, combines classroom activities with practical sessions to show students that travelling by bus is one of the best ways to get to and from school.

From spending time with friends to gaining more independence, ‘Suss the Bus’ gives students the knowledge and confidence to travel to school on their own.

About 1,000 students are being treated to taster bus journeys to their new schools by Go North East, a Suss the Buss partner, to learn how to: buy a ticket from the driver; spot safety cameras on board and learn what to do if they miss their stop. Students are also encouraged to talk about any fears or concerns they might have about taking the bus.

And to share these experiences, students from Excelsior Academy, Newcastle, star in a new educational video that shows students how to ‘Suss the Bus’.

The three-minute video provides other students with a step-by-step guide to journeying by bus, including how to find the right bus, how to signal to board the bus and appropriate behavior during the journey.

It also dispels any fears about travelling by bus and shows it can be fun and a great place to catch up with friends. To view the video, visit gosmarter.co.uk/schools/getting-to-school/public-transport 

Travelling by bus is more sustainable and helps reduce the number of cars in and around schools at drop-off and pick up times.

Leader of Newcastle City Council, Cllr Nick Forbes, who is also lead for transport on the North East Combined Authority said: “Travelling by bus is cheaper and better for the environment and also gives students time to socialise before and after school.

“Taking the bus to school also helps address the problem of congestion caused by cars dropping off and picking up around schools every day.

“This initiative gives pupils all the information and support that they need to start travelling by bus and will help young people grow in confidence which is a good thing.”

As part of the classroom activities, students also learn how to use Go Smarter’s online journey planner, finding the closest bus stop, journey times and what bus number to get. The planner is also accessible via smart phones so students can use it ‘on the go’.