When school buses are retired and auctioned off by school districts or school bus companies, many of them gain a second life in some unique way, shape or form.
Earlier this year, the documentary “La Camioneta” brought the story of one school bus’ transformation into a Guatemalan transit bus to the South by Southwest Film and Music Festival in Austin, Texas. Also this year, newlyweds in North Austin made headlines for converting a school bus into their first home.
While it may not be breaking news every time a free spirit transforms a former school bus into an unconventional yet eye-catching living space, School Transportation News has compiled photos of some of the more unique school bus conversions in the hope that these picture tell a story about the many different ways the trusted yellow school bus can continue to touch lives long after their retirement. Let us know if you come across any other interesting school bus conversions.
DeSoto County (Miss.) Schools turned two of its school buses into ambulances after purchasing an easy-to-use kit, according to a district spokeswoman. During a disaster, the converted school buses can be used to evacuate hospitals or nursing homes. The Mississippi State Department of Health paid for the bus-into-ambulance kits.
The Arcadia Mobile Market is a 28-foot retrofitted school bus that carries crates of fresh, local food to neighborhoods with limited channels to healthy foods and that helps promote healthy lifestyle choices. "We do this through one-on-one engagement with schoolchildren and community members about how to use local produce in cost-effective ways," she said. Arcadia is committed to providing access to sustainably and locally produced food in communities throughout the D.C. area.
The school bus shown above has been converted into a lunch cafeteria on wheels. Hernando County (Fla.) School District's summer program provides a free lunch to those students who qualify for this free meal during the school year.
Mark Dobbs is not the first to raise chickens in a school bus that doubles as a large chicken coop, and he certainly won’t be the last. The bus is used as vehicle, not a building, with the hens ranging in the pasture rather than being fed on the bus. Dobbs said this is why the bus-turned-coop has enough capacity for 250 birds.
The "Jesus Bus" has served as portable sanctuary for a local church that needed a way to hold services outside after their building burned down. It was the vision of Rev. Bryan Turner of Jacksonville, Fla., who with the help of his father-in-law, removed all of the seats, raised the roof and created removable windows and a secondary floor, under which they ran wiring to convert the bus into a soundstage.
This school bus conversion is unique because of the owner’s extra effort to make it a homey environment, complete with a rooftop deck featuring a picket fence as well as a vintage Volkswagen van that serves as a second story. The wood paneling on the interior adds to the coziness of this incredible mobile home.
Donald Widner of Minnesota made headlines this past July for living in a refurbished school bus during the months he works in North Dakota’s oil patch, but the practice of converting these buses into fully equipped mobile homes is becoming increasingly popular.