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why do school buses have white tops

Last week I answered the age old question But, some people out there may have noted that many school buses in North America are not uniformly golden-yellow. While nearly every public school bus in America is the same classic color in most places, a large number of buses being manufactured today have white roofs. This isn t a coincidence. The white roofs on modern buses have grown in popularity as a simple and effective means of keeping buses cooler during the hottest months of the year. Just about every person who rode the bus to the school in the summer can remember hot, sweaty trips and the feeling of the bus seat sticking to your skin.


Air conditioning helps, but it can only do so much on a hot summer afternoon. Every little bit you can do to keep the school bus cooler helps. One study found that painting the tops of buses white made the interior temperature drop an average of 10 degrees during the summer, with as much as a 17-degree difference during the warmest hours. Plus, there was little effect during the winter, as the bus was only 3 to 4 degrees cooler.


Cooler temperatures help keep everyone comfortable, but with younger students it can also help keep children more calm and well-behaved, according to an article. The white roofs also make the vehicles easier to spot and anything that keeps children safer is undoubtedly positive. PDuring early pilot programs using white roofing on buses, participating schools received a number of calls specifically noting that the buses were easier to see.
Hi all. Just browsing. I am a mechanical engineer who has absolutely nothing to do with school buses in my day to day life.


I just have a general (probably stupid) question and figured this was the best place to ask. Why do many modern school buses have the tops painted white rather than "school bus yellow"? I can only come up with 2 reasons, and both are pretty dumb. 1 - White top makes school bus look like regular 18 wheeler when viewed from the air. In these times, it might help if some wacko terrorist group wanted to specifically target children. 2 - White paint cheaper than yellow paint. Anyone know a more realistic reason?

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