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April 16, 2014  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

4 school districts named to '100 Best Fleets' list

By Thomas McMahon


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School district operations in Texas, Pennsylvania and Florida were among the fleets recognized for exemplary performance in this year's "100 Best Fleets" list.

The fleets are chosen based on documented criteria for excellence, including the use of technology, staff development and training, quick and efficient repair turnaround, and resource stewardship.

The 100 Best Fleets honorees for 2014 were announced at the NAFA Institute and Expo in Minneapolis last week. The list is sponsored by consultant and author Tom C. Johnson and is published in Governing magazine.

Here are the school district fleets and their places on the list:

26. Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District (ISD), Pharr, Texas
39. Houston ISD
54. Lower Merion School District, Ardmore, Pa.
76. Orange County (Fla.) Public Schools

Also, three school transportation operations earned honorable mention:

• Austin (Texas) ISD
• School District of Indian River County (Fla.)
• West County Transportation Agency, Santa Rosa, Calif.

Houston ISD has made the 100 Best Fleets list for four years in a row, this time moving from 47th to 39th.

“We’ve continued to move up on the 100 Best Fleets list each year,” said Mark Swackhamer, Houston ISD's senior manager of fleet operations. “Going through the application process helps us strive for perfection. I feel our operation is moving forward.”

Officials said factors that contributed to Houston ISD's rise in the rankings this year included new GPS systems to reduce idle time and improve pickup times, low-battery alerts in buses, and new silent alarms. The district also continued its expansion of the use of biofuels and its eco-driver training program, resulting in cost savings.

“I am grateful to work with such a strong team," said Nathan Graf, Houston ISD's general manager of transportation, "and I am very happy to see other school districts on the list because it helps them move forward also.”

To view the full 100 Best Fleets list, go here.


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