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January 10, 2012  |   Comments (1)   |   Post a comment

Insight on timely topics

Speakers during the NAPT Summit discuss such issues as bullying, wheelchair use, training and alternative fuels. Attendees also see several new school buses.

by Kelly Roher and Thomas McMahon


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New buses at trade show
There was a variety of new products on view during the trade show, including offerings from school bus manufacturers. In addition to the eTrans from Trans Tech Bus, Blue Bird showcased its Next Generation Propane-Powered Vision, which was developed with Ford and ROUSH CleanTech. Officials said that the bus provides customers with increased fuel economy, greater horsepower and torque, and a 67-gallon fuel tank — the largest tank available.

The new version of the bus also offers enhanced serviceability, broader optional equipment choices and a five-year/100,000-mile warranty.

Canadian manufacturer Lion Bus had on display its Type C unit, the Lion Bus 360°. Among the features of the bus is a 102-inch body, which company officials said increases the aisle width inside the bus by 50 percent. The bus is built on a Spartan chassis and is available with a Cummins ISB engine.

Attendees also had an opportunity to board Thomas Built Buses’ redesigned Type D bus, the Saf-T-Liner EFX. Officials said the bus’ exterior makes it easier and more convenient to access electrical components, while a new engine cover allows belts and fluid levels to be checked easily — without removing the cover and without tools.

Moreover, Thomas Built increased cockpit storage to make the EFX more comfortable and convenient for drivers.

For more trade show products, go here.

The 2012 NAPT Conference and Trade Show is scheduled to be held in Memphis, Tenn., Oct. 20-25.


Peter Lawrence, director of transportation at Fairport (N.Y.) Central School District, was honored with NAPT's Distinguished Service award.
<p>Peter Lawrence, director of transportation at Fairport (N.Y.) Central School District, was honored with NAPT's Distinguished Service award.</p>

NAPT honors pupil transporters

Pupil transportation professionals were honored during the NAPT annual awards banquet and celebratory breakfast.

During the banquet, Jeff Carpenter of Blue Bird presented
the Blue Bird Heroism Award to John Fothergill of Southeast Polk Community School District in Pleasant Hill, Iowa, for his actions on Aug. 27, which was the district’s first day of school. For details, see the “Heroes in school transportation” profile here.

Peter Lawrence, director of transportation at Fairport (N.Y.) Central School District, received the NAPT’s Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to the pupil transportation community.

Also during the awards banquet, SBF Publisher Frank Di Giacomo presented the Administrator of the Year award to Mike Connors, director of transportation at Brevard Public Schools in Cocoa, Fla. To read about Connors’ career, go here.

Finally, Bill Paul, founder of School Transportation News, was inducted into the NAPT Hall of Fame by outgoing NAPT president Linda Bluth.

During the Leading the Day: Recognition for Exceptional Performers celebratory breakfast, honorees were recognized for excellence in safety, as well as school bus maintenance and inspection.

The transportation staff at Allen (Texas) Independent School District was honored by John Thompson of IC Bus with the Driver Training Team award, which recognizes a school district transportation operation that has gone above and beyond the minimum training requirements.

Finally, Don Carnahan, vice president of business development at Zonar Systems, announced the eight recipients of a $50,000 grant from the company and NAPT that will go toward the purchase of Zonar equipment.

To view the list of recipients, go here.


Samantha Bussell of Lafayette, Tenn., was the overall winner of NAPT's 2011 National School Bus Safety Week Poster Contest. Photo by Jaime Gallego  
<p>Samantha Bussell of Lafayette, Tenn., was the overall winner of NAPT's 2011 National School Bus Safety Week Poster Contest.</p> <p><br /> <small>Photo by Jaime Gallego</small></p> <p> </p>

NAPT names poster contest winners

At the trade show, entries for the association’s 2011 National School Bus Safety Week Poster Contest were on display.

The theme for the contest was “I See the Driver — The Driver Sees Me!” Samantha Bussell of Lafayette, Tenn., placed first in Division II and was the overall winner of the contest.

Here are the top entrants in each division:

Division I
First: Odette Padron, High Point, N.C.
Second: Josie McCall, Lafayette, Tenn.
Third: Jennifer Russell, Port Orange, Fla.

Division II
First and Overall Winner: Samantha
Bussell, Lafayette, Tenn.
Second: Jennifer Sieredzki, Clayton, N.C.
Third: Louisa Nikolova, Coon Rapids, Minn.

Division III
First: Kelly Guo, Kapolei, Hawaii
Second: Elina Gouw, Portland, Ore.
Third: Victoria Tu, Northbrook, Ill.

Division IV
First: Patricia Kontomichalos, West Hempstead, N.Y.
Second: Ricardo Aguilar, Oakland Park, Fla.
Third: James Hundl, Dickinson, Texas

Computer Assisted Drawing Division
First: Marley Robb, Baker City, Ore.
Second: Myles Williams, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Third: Micah Weis, Mullens, W.Va.

International
First: Hinane Murata, Japan

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Read more about: Blue Bird Corp., bullying, conferences, driver training, NAPT, Thomas Built Buses, Trans Tech Bus, wheelchairs

This makes so much sense! Buses pick up kids, drop them at school, then go back to base (to charge). Then go back out a few hours later to make another run. Then charge over night. Could there be a better application for this young technology?

Pete    |    Jan 12, 2012 08:19 AM

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