Maybe it's just the very thought that's a bit much for your dh right now. I mean, riding the short bus tends to place a pretty definite label on your kid, at least around here.
I remember when we were getting my daughter's first wheelchair. I put it off until she was 3 1/2 and I could finally admit that a kid who couldn't even stand up was probably not walking anytime soon lol. And then I couldn't think of it as a wheelchair; it was a "wheeled mobility device" for a long time. I almost burst into tears when her wheelchair arrived from the vendor; it stated a reality that I had to face. Now, of course, I love her wheelchair for what it does---it gives Michaela mobility that she otherwise wouldn't have. Sure, it also proclaims that here is a person who can't walk, but I don't care about that so much. That's just a part of who Michaela is.
So the short bus (my son rides one) does make a statement. But, as you know, it also provides a great service, one for which I am very, very thankful. Hopefully, in time, your dh can get past (or maybe just accept) what the little yellow bus represents, and appreciate it for the valuable service it offers to your family. Or, if not, I'd suggest what someone else did, and give him the choice of driving your son to and from school.
BTW, our short buses have seat belts and carseats, for those who need them. There is also always the option of getting a bus aide, should that be needed. Another thing...I'd honestly rather have my son ride the short bus with his buddies than ride a typical schoolbus with typical kids, because I *know* that's he'd get some laughs, teasing, and behind-his-back comments.
Joni and kids, incl. Michaela, 10, poppin' wheelies in her purple chair, and Gabriel, 8, T21 and autism, lovin' the shortie bus