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Chesapeake (Va.) Public Schools' buses are equipped with AngelTrax's HC460 four-channel DVR system and three cameras.
Protect your operation with video surveillance
April 22, 2014

False claims made against school bus drivers or other transportation staff have the potential to damage reputations and cause legal problems if a district or bus company is unable to prove what occurred during the incident in question. Equipping buses with cameras and DVRs can offer protection by providing undisputable evidence in these situations and others, such as accidents. Here's a roundup of the technology utilized by operations around the country.

iStock image © TrentVino
How to manage conflict and deal with angry people
April 17, 2014

Employees can express anger and frustration when they feel that their basic needs, such as feeling appreciated and valued, are not being met. Managers and others in leadership roles must listen to gain an understanding of the problem, learn the points of view of those involved and work together with the employees toward a solution.

At First Student, well maintained and safely operated buses lead to a long service life, and Senior Vice President of Commercial Development Roger Moore says maintaining a safe operation also enables the company to retain the best employees.
Contractors see safety as an investment
April 10, 2014

Executives for some of North America's largest school bus companies discuss how allocating resources toward such efforts as driver training and preventive maintenance can benefit the operation by improving safety and employee morale, which, in turn, enhances profitability.

Photo credit: iStock Getty Images
Is a shared transportation director good for your operation?
March 27, 2014

Many factors must be taken into account when considering whether to have one director oversee yellow bus service at two school districts, including the operations’ proximity to one another, the condition of the fleets and the relations among department employees. Patience and support for the shared director are essential to long-term success.

6 new products to streamline the school bus shop
March 18, 2014

Offerings help make cleaning and refurbishment easier, boost fuel efficiency, and organize jobs and tasks.

Mohawk Lifts’ TR 25 drive-on lift offers 6 feet of unrestricted under-vehicle access, leaving plenty of space available for technicians to complete brake jobs and other maintenance.
Vehicle lifts that promote shop safety, productivity
March 11, 2014

Features such as mechanical locks, remote control, LED lighting and lighter weights for more portability make servicing buses even safer and more efficient.

Pictured is the DEF fill point on a Thomas Built Saf-T-Liner HDX school bus.Photo courtesy of Thomas Built Buses
Web exclusive: Getting the most out of DEF
March 6, 2014

Understanding some basic facts about diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), such as its freezing point, the importance of using high-quality DEF and keeping it clean, and proper storage procedures, will go a long way in its efficiency in a selective catalytic reduction system.

Tags: emissions, EPA
Pete Meslin (in the blue shirt and wearing a tie), director of transportation at California’s Newport-Mesa Unified School District, is pictured with current and former school board members and transportation department personnel at a bus driver appreciation event.
5 ways to gain support from school boards
March 4, 2014

With funding for pupil transportation tight, those providing the service must show board members its value. District and bus company officials share tips that can help in getting this group of individuals to become advocates for the yellow bus, from making yourself visible and available to sharing positive stories about your operation.

Web exclusive: More on gaining support from school boards
March 4, 2014

In our March 2014 issue, officials at school districts and bus companies offer tips that can help in getting school board members to become advocates for the yellow bus. Here are a few more tips, as well as insight on efforts at operations that have been successful in establishing positive relations with school board members on specific issues.

Photo by Katrina Falk
How to cut costs by mastering time and space, part 1
February 28, 2014

Manipulating time and space to optimize system design sets a foundation for efficiency in special-education transportation. Here is an introduction to the concept — and three examples in which its application could have saved countless dollars.

New improvements to Rifled’s BH series evaporators include a four-hole drain pan. Pictured is the BH-20.
A/C units keep current with cooling needs
February 13, 2014

Trends in school bus air-conditioning systems include increased demand for bulkhead evaporators and rooftop units, officials say. Here’s a look at key features in the latest cooling technology.

Don Carnahan’s second term as NAPT president began in October. The first was 1997-99. Photo by Jaime Gallego.
Rising costs, security and bus eligibility cuts are key issues
February 11, 2014

Having held a variety of leadership roles in the industry, Don Carnahan brings diverse insight to his second term as president of NAPT. Here, he shares his perspectives on changes and challenges in pupil transportation.

Tags: NAPT
Walla Walla (Wash.) School District is the host district for the Southeast Washington Transportation Cooperative. The cooperative only charges $45 an hour for labor, compared with hourly rates at large vehicle repair shops in the area, which can run up to $115.
Cooperative helps districts save money, time
February 6, 2014

Walla Walla (Wash.) School District won matching funds from the state to obtain funds for a facility to support a cooperative that serves three school district transportation departments, and it hasn’t cost taxpayers additional tax dollars. The Southeast Washington Transportation Cooperative provides vehicle maintenance at a fraction of the cost of local shops as well as a driver training program that saves districts staff and time.

Karam, the director of transportation at Bethlehem Central School District in Delmar, N.Y., has long utilized key performance indicators at his operation, which have led to increased efficiency and a reduction in costs. The department saved about $900,000 for the 2012-13 school year.
Alfred Karam named SBF's Administrator of the Year
January 21, 2014

The director of transportation at Bethlehem Central School District in Delmar, N.Y., has adopted a businesslike approach to running the transportation department, while also focusing on student safety. The transportation team was able to reduce its overall transportation budget by about $900,000 for the 2012-13 school year, and tracking key performance indicators has increased efficiency.

NAPT trade show: buses, components and more
January 14, 2014

New offerings that were on view and introduced during the show in Grand Rapids, Mich., include an all-electric school bus, a wheelchair retractor tie-down system, heater kits, LED lights and fleet management solutions.

To comply with the new voluntary industry standard known as WC18, wheelchair tiedowns or other securement devices must pass two different dynamic strength tests.
New standards target stronger wheelchair tie-downs, increased passenger safety
January 14, 2014

New safety standards for wheelchairs and tie-downs promise to improve transportation safety for people who must use their wheelchair as the passenger seat when riding in a car, van or bus. Here’s an overview of the WC18 and WC19 standards and the enhanced testing they require.

NASDPTS bolsters support for lap-shoulder belts
January 9, 2014

The state directors association had previously expressed its support for lap-shoulder belts if funding is made available. At the annual NASDPTS conference, the board strengthens its position by dropping the funding clause. Safety topics were the focus of many conference sessions.

Victoria Arlen, a gold medal-winning para-athlete swimmer, explained how she has overcome her struggles with paralysis to succeed.
Web exclusive: Bonus coverage of NAPT sessions
January 6, 2014

Here's the scoop on several engaging sessions at the National Association for Pupil Transportation's 2013 Summit in Grand Rapids, Mich. Topics include school bus loading and unloading safety, Medicaid reimbursement, and overcoming the challenges of a disability.

NTSB Vice Chairman Christopher Hartdiscussed potential benefits of seat belts in school buses, although he noted that there is “no single safety mechanism that is the best for every type of crash.”
NAPT Summit report
January 6, 2014

From sessions on enhancing safety and efficiency to awards for outstanding service, here’s our rundown of highlights from the National Association for Pupil Transportation’s 2013 Summit, held in Grand Rapids, Mich., in October.

Authors Michael Shields (standing, wearing a tie) and David McCuistion (not pictured) say that President Lincoln was a collaborative leader, and school bus drivers also work with others to build a cohesive team.
Leadership, from Lincoln to school bus drivers
December 3, 2013

Like this Civil War-era luminary and others, bus drivers provide guidance to their passengers, and they are dedicated and care for those they work with and serve — all characteristics of a great leader.

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