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Articles/News with Minnesota tag

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New contract brings 65 propane buses to Minnesota district
July 16, 2014
Under the five-year, $4 million contract with St. Paul Public Schools, Student Transportation of America will provide new propane-powered vehicles and a refurbished facility. The contract award also marks the expansion of the company's operations in Minnesota.
School bus driver award brings crowd to tears
June 30, 2014
Don Puetz was among five recipients of the Minnesota School Bus Operators Association’s 2014 Transportation Specialist Awards. His dedication to his students, even amid personal sorrow — he lost both his wife and his daughter in the past year — made for an emotional ceremony.
Driver, nurse save 4 special-needs students from bus fire
April 4, 2014
Alfred “Al” Lewis pulls the bus over, opens the passenger door and window to let the smoke out, sprays the fire extinguisher into the vents, and gathers the students in wheelchairs and carries them outside to safety. Meanwhile, the nurse helps the other two students out of the rear door.
Minnesota bus driver strives to be a mentor to students
April 1, 2014
Seventy-four-year-old Paul Aasen began working at Saints Bus Services in 2001, and he says he plans to drive for as long as he’s physically able to. He says he enjoys talking to the students he transports, and in addition to being a mentor, his goal is to encourage them to be respectful.
Update: District switches to 3-tier transportation
March 26, 2014
The board at Minnesota’s South Washington County Schools approves a plan to adjust bell times from four to three tiers, which will go into effect for the 2014-15 school year. However, the board decides against shortening walking distances to the levels at which they had been up until last school year.
Bill would require bus drivers to perform child checks
March 7, 2014
The Minnesota legislation would also establish reporting requirements: failure to perform a post-trip child check would need to be reported to the director of pupil transportation within 72 hours, and if a bus driver is convicted of not performing the required child-check procedure, the school bus driver endorsement on the person’s license would be canceled for one year. Shelly Jonas of the Minnesota School Bus Operators Association weighs in on the effectiveness of the proposed changes.
District may switch to 3 tiers, shorten walking distances
March 5, 2014
In an effort to prevent late buses and enhance transportation service, Minnesota’s South Washington County Schools is proposing to change from a four-tier bell time schedule to three tiers. Another change under consideration would be to reduce walking distances from 1.5 miles to 1 mile for middle school students and from 2 to 1.5 miles for high school students.
Heavy snow forces closure of bus garage
February 27, 2014
Forest Lake Area Schools officials cite structural concerns since the garage, a pole barn that was built in 1961, has broken beams. It was being used to house 25 of the district’s vehicles and is expected to be torn down.
Minnesota association launches live stream of meetings
January 14, 2014
Minnesota Association for Pupil Transportation members who can't make it to Wednesday's committee meetings in person will have another option: tuning in online. A live stream will be available on YouTube, even allowing web viewers to submit questions.
Video teaches public to 'Stop and Stay Stopped' for buses
November 13, 2013
The Minnesota School Bus Operators Association video, newly available on DVD, outlines common mistakes that motorists make when driving around school buses. Shelly Jonas, executive administrator for the association, tells SBF about the program and how it can be used.
DVD trains on school bus trespassing response
October 1, 2013
“Unauthorized Rider,” produced by the Minnesota School Bus Operators Association (MSBOA) and the Annandale Police Department, demonstrates the need to plan ahead when confronted with an attempt by an unauthorized person to board the school bus, and what to do if these situations arise. MSBOA Executive Administrator Shelly Jonas tells SBF how production of the video came about.
TV show spotlights Minnesota fleet's switch to propane
September 11, 2013
According to a recent segment on MotorWeek, Eastern Carver County Schools has started a "slow but steady process" of replacing more than 100 diesel school buses with propane-powered units. The show's host reports that although the new propane buses cost more, they yielded fuel cost savings of $60,000 last year.
Minnesota special-needs pupil transporters honored
May 3, 2013
Special-education school bus drivers and special-education transportation assistants are recognized for service excellence by the Minnesota Special Education Transportation Committee, in cooperation with the Minnesota Association for Pupil Transportation. First place winners in each category will have an opportunity to receive free training at the Minnesota School Bus Train the Trainer Instructor seminars in July.
Minneapolis district builds mobile command center
April 30, 2013
Minneapolis Public Schools’ plant operations and transportation services team spent four years converting an older school bus into the mobile command center. It’s outfitted with such equipment as a flat-screen TV, two-way radios and laptops, and it’s designed to be used as a command post in a major emergency that prohibits the district’s buses from successfully transporting students.
$300K grant to go toward training for Thermo King staff
April 10, 2013
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development grant will be used to develop and implement lean process improvement training for more than 560 employees of Thermo King, which supplies temperature control systems for buses and other vehicles.
Ad shows students smoking on school bus
February 19, 2013
In an effort to curb tobacco use among youths, ClearWay Minnesota launches a commercial that depicts school bus passengers lighting up. The Minnesota School Bus Operators Association is working to get the ad off the air, saying that it “defames the hard-working businesses and personnel working in the school transportation industry.”
Student absenteeism spikes after rollout of transit bus program
January 2, 2013
Officials at Minneapolis Public Schools request a report on the absenteeism, but analysis has not yet been completed on whether the transit passes are responsible for the increase. Still, officials are discussing with Metro Transit whether it's possible to discourage students from skipping school by limiting the hours that they can use the passes.
Bus driver has student pick up gun
November 13, 2012
The driver asks the student to disembark the bus on the way to school to check out an object on the side of the road, and when it’s discovered that it’s a weapon, the driver asks the student to bring it to him. School officials report that the driver, who's now out of a job, allegedly said that he was going to take the weapon to his bus company’s dispatch office.
Minn. pupil transporters honored for service, dedication
July 18, 2012
The Minnesota School Bus Operators Association recognizes six school bus drivers with the Transportation Specialist Award. Betty Jeanne Trobec, owner of Trobec’s Bus Service Inc., receives the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Bruce Dischinger, an owner of Monarch Bus Service, receives the Jim DeVeau Award.
Crossing arms mandated on new school buses in Minn.
July 12, 2012
All Minnesota school buses built after Jan. 1 of next year will have to be equipped with crossing arms, which deter kids from crossing too close to the front of the bus. State pupil transportation director Lt. Brian Reu discusses the bill that was passed and how it will impact school bus operations.
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