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August 01, 1997  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

A digital community for school transportation

A digital community for school transportation

by Steve Hirano, Executive Editor


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I'm standing on one small corner of America. It's a summer day slowly melting into dusk. From here I can see a school bus cresting a grass-covered hill. Below, more yellow buses course through the streets of a tidy village dotted with wood-frame houses, a church, and, oddly, a glass skyscraper. In the distance are square-cut emerald fields. I smell the sea and glimpse the high-powered beam of a lighthouse. The atmosphere is peaceful yet energetic. The people are hopeful. It feels like home. It's a community called schoolbusfleet.com. Although it exists only in cyberspace, I encourage you to visit it often and make it your home away from home. It can be found on the World Wide Web at the following address: www.schoolbusfleet.com Creating a brave new world
We have created this community for the millions of people around the world who thirst for useful and timely information about school transportation. What they will find at schoolbusfleet.com is a growing resource of SBF research, government data and rulemakings, breaking industry news, archives of past issues of the magazine, an editorial index, a calendar of events, a directory of contacts at state and national pupil transportation organizations and a listing of industry suppliers and manufacturers. In addition, schoolbusfleet.com provides an interactive feature called Discussion Groups that allows visitors to exchange opinions and information about school transportation management, operations, equipment, safety concerns and drivers. This feature is the backbone of schoolbusfleet.com because it puts people in touch with each other - at their own convenience and in a relaxed environment. There's no pressure here to respond by the end of the day or to skip lunch to return phone calls. At schoolbusfleet.com, you make your own hours. Visit once and you'll be hooked. To make the site as useful as possible, we have added search functions that allow our guests to scan the entire site or just the archives. For example, let's say you want to learn more about handrail safety. Your best bet would be to search the archives. If you typed in "handrail" as your search term, this would bring up a list that looks something like this:

  • Industry News (Relevance: 100%)
  • Special-ed cost burdens (Relevance: 50%)
  • Handrail hazards must be addressed at state, local levels (Relevance: 47%)
  • Lower the potential for injury (Relevance: 22%)
  • Learning to guard against carelessness (Relevance: 6%)

    Without listing them all, there are 11 "matches" to the search term. Clicking on any of the underlined entries will access the article, which can be immediately read or printed for later use. Currently, we have a little more than a year's worth of issues available. Don't worry, as time permits we'll expand the archives. This is a work in progress. Like any community, schoolbusfleet.com will evolve. You can help guide its growth by suggesting new features, participating in the Discussion Groups, sending us notes about your upcoming association conferences or supplying us with information about your own Website. By the way, we're also interested in having fun, too. If you have any humorous anecdotes about school transportation, click on "Funny Stories" in The Forum and send them to us. We'll post the best of your stories at schoolbusfleet.com and publish them in an upcoming issue of the magazine.


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