The beloved C-SPAN bus has reached the end of its 26-year road trip after crisscrossing 1.3 million miles and hosting more than 1.6 million visitors during its travels. Many of those stops were in cities across our vast state, where the bus and its representatives brought history and public affairs to life for students, teachers, legislators and so many others.
Saying goodbye to the bus is bittersweet for the Texas Cable Association and our members companies, which have hosted and partnered in those stops throughout Texas and helped fund the bus through their support of C-SPAN, which was created in 1979 as a public service by the U.S. cable industry and now in 100 million households.
In the past decade alone, the bus’s Texas travels seen it parked at the Texas Capitol for the Texas Book Festival and at events in cities including Abilene, Austin, El Paso, Laredo, Corpus Christi, Houston, Laredo, Odessa, San Antonio, Sweetwater and Waco.
The bus – in its twelfth iteration – has actually been off the road since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its retirement will leave a void in hands-on education for students and others about our nation’s civic and political processes. The bus helped C-SPAN fulfill its mission to make government transparent. During elections, the C-SPAN bus played a huge role to inform the public about the democratic process and their role as U.S. voters.
The bus actually began as a school bus, and the first buses served as mobile TV studios that could produce live or taped content on its travels. In 1995, C-SPAN received the Golden CableACE Award for programming and educational efforts related to the bus. In 2010, the bus went digital.
But one thing was constant over the years – the C-SPAN bus was staffed by a committed team of dedicated professionals who set the standard for cable’s education and community outreach efforts. Visitors to the bus were greeted by a C-SPAN representative ready to engage and inform them on how best to utilize C-SPAN’s resources and primary source teaching tools.
The C-SPAN bus also played a huge role – especially during elections—to inform the public about the democratic process and their role as U.S. voters.
Thank you, C-SPAN and C-SPAN bus!