The colour of that big yellow taxi is not mellow yellow;
it’s chrome yellow or school bus yellow
The paint was developed in 1939 when Frank Cyr, a professor at Columbia University assembled a conference of educators, paint experts, and school bus manufacturers. Among other significant achievements at the conference was the desire to select a colour that would be immediately noticeable with our peripheral vision, and the need to have only one colour for every school bus operated and manufactured. The colour is a natural yellow pigment mixed with lead chomate and it provides a very good background for black lettering to be visible in the early morning or as it gets dark.
While today advertising is visible on many types of vehicles, and many attempts have been made to generate revenue by advertising on school buses, legislators have continually prohibited it, to maintain the visibility. We do see brighter more noticeable colours even on the vests of school bus drivers, but the life and history of the colour is well worth maintaining, because many people have grown up knowing and expecting to see only this particular yellow on school buses.
“Finding a good bus driver can be as important as finding a good musician.”
By Reba McEntire