School bus yellow

School bus yellow
School bus yellow
About these coordinates

— Color coordinates —

Hex triplet #FFD800
RGBB (r, g, b) (255, 216, 0)
HSV (h, s, v) (36°, 100%, 50%)
Source [Unsourced]
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

School bus yellow is a color which was especially formulated for use on School buses in North America in 1939. The color is now officially known in Canada and the U.S. as National School Bus Glossy Yellow and was originally called National School Bus Chrome. The pigment used for this color was, for a long time, the lead-containing chrome yellow.[1]

In April of that year, Dr. Frank W. Cyr, a professor at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York organized a conference that established national school-bus construction standards for the U.S., including the standard color of yellow for the school bus. It became known officially as "National School Bus Chrome." The color was selected because black lettering on that hue was easiest to see in the semi-darkness of early morning.

The conference met for seven days and the attendees created a total of 44 standards, including specifications regarding body length, ceiling height and aisle width. Paint experts from DuPont and Pittsburgh Paints participated. Dr. Cyr's conference, funded by a $5,000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, was also a landmark event inasmuch as it included transportation officials from each of the then 48 states, as well as specialists from school-bus manufacturing and paint companies. The color was adopted by the National Bureau of Standards (Now the National Institute of Standards and Technology) as Federal Standard No. 595a, Color 13432.

The conference approach to school bus safety, as well as the yellow color, has endured into the 21st century. Dr. Cyr became well known as the "Father of the Yellow School Bus."

The yellow color of other public vehicles, including taxicabs, did not derive from Dr. Cyr's standardization but is from a much earlier choice made by Chicago-based entrepreneur John D. Hertz, whose choice had supreme influence over the taxicab and public bus industries, as well as the branding behind his rental car business. The yellow of Beijing and Hong Kong "breadloaf" or "miandi" taxis, as in the photo below, was likely not influenced by schoolbus yellow but by the yellow taxicab color. It is not known whether or to what extent Hertz's choice influenced Dr. Cyr's conception, or whether Hertz himself had the same concerns about visibility in mind that Dr. Cyr had.

School Bus Yellow outside North America

North American-style yellow school buses (built by European manufacturers) are being introduced in some parts of the United Kingdom, prompted by corporate links to the American industry, for example First Student UK, or a desire to re-brand school buses, such as West Yorkshire Metro's Mybus[2].

School Bus Yellow is also the traditional color of long-distance coaches and intercity buses used in Hungary.


See also


  1. ^ Worobec, Mary Devine; Hogue, Cheryl (1992). Toxic Substances Controls Guide: Federal Regulation of Chemicals in the Environment. p. 13. ISBN 9780871797520. 
  2. ^ Executive Summary – Mybus report on West Yorkshire Metro website, retrieved 2009-10-09

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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