Many adults live quite a distance from where they work in order to afford the lifestyle they want on the salary they receive, and they must be willing to drive or take the train as commuters to be on time for their work day. This is a choice for them, but children who live in rural areas may have a commute just as long without the choice. Their schools are usually geographically situated within the middle of the school district, and rural areas are comprised of large areas with few people.
Situating the schools within the center of the district gives children from the outlying areas a chance to have the least lengthy commute, but it can still be a long one. For those who live in farming and ranch areas, it can take more than an hour for their transport to deliver them to the school. Some of them board the bus before the sun breaks over the horizon, so rising early becomes a normal part of their school attendance.
Adults who commute, especially on trains and buses, have many options to take up their time. Some of them catch up on their book reading, and others prefer to open the newspaper as a way to pass the time. Electronic devices have allowed modern commuters the ability to stream their favorite movies and television shows, so some of them take that time for personal enjoyment. Even if they take the same transportation with the same people every work day, few adults socialize with others during their commute.
Children are very different from adults, and taking the bus to school is often a good time for them to socialize. There might be a few who use it as an opportunity to catch up on their school work or reading, but many educational districts forbid the use of electronics during their commute. Spending time with friends and talking has long been a traditional way for children to cement bonds with their fellow students to make the time pass quickly, and it also helps them integrate into the larger world afforded by their local educational system.