Our experience with the Green Bus is very mixed. Our son now catches the 886 to KEFW but originally caught the FW8. We used this service for half a term as they then withdrew it owing to low take up. This necessitated us moving to the FW7 which morphed into the 886 and added some 30 minutes onto the journey home. This was plagued with issues; lack of punctuality, poor behaviour on the bus, overcrowded, unreliable and a constantly changing driver. And don't get me started on the so called tracker
And I forgot to mention the journey where the driver was speeding and a overhanging tree came through the front upstairs window.
To be fair to them this half term has been better after routes were slightly changed - DS now is home sometimes before 5 pm - the norm last year was 5:25
It is a very safe option as the bu drops off and picks up from school and even though I think they are public buses, they are not really used by anyone others than pupils. However the tracker is still a joke and hardly works and the journeys are ridiculously long - dw can drive to KEFW in 35 minutes - the green bus can take 90 minutes.
I know some have concern with the cost -about £875 per annum - but for a dedicated s hool service I think that is reasonable.
The issue for parents of children waiting to apply for schools is can it be relied on to run for the duration. The answer is no. They receive a list of pupil postcodes and design routes accordingly, but if you live in an outlying area there is a real risk if one o two stop using it the service will be withdrawn from that area. When we were looking at schools, their 2013-14 routes included one from Dudley to KEA and one from Aston station to school. Neither of these were introduced as far as I am aware. Luckily I didn't like KEA so it didn't become an issue.
If you are looking at the Green Bus option just make sure you have a viable option b.