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MITO extends contract with Blue Bird
November 4, 2013
Electronics distributor MITO will continue to supply the school bus manufacturer with its factory-installed radio system. The contract extension is for three years.
Pete Meslin (far right), director of transportation at California's Newport-Mesa Unified School District, moderated a session at the NAPT Summit in which panelists (from left) Michael and Judith Ann Benedict and their son, Michael Jr., discussed how relationship-building is critical to good customer service when transporting special-needs students.
Customer service and travel training in special-needs busing
November 4, 2013
Sessions during the National Association for Pupil Transportation Summit in October delved into these topics, with insight from one family’s personal experiences and strategies for attendees to take back to their operations.
Bus swept off road, falls into rushing water
November 1, 2013
The Kansas Highway Patrol is investigating the events surrounding the accident, but a sheriff says that roads in the area were still covered with water from a recent rain, and the bus had driven into a submerged stretch of road. After falling into two and a half feet of water, the 10 students on board use the escape hatch and windows to climb to safety on top of the bus until first responders arrive.
Tags: Kansas
Bus driver saves woman from jumping off bridge
October 31, 2013
Darnell Barton, a Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority bus operator, was taking 20 students home from school when he spotted the woman perched outside the guardrail over an expressway and coaxed her away from danger. After Barton gave a statement to the police, he continued driving his route.
Tags: New York
Film on 2nd life of school bus now on DVD
October 31, 2013
"La Camioneta" follows a decommissioned school bus from an auction in Pennsylvania to its new life in Guatemala, where it is repainted and repurposed to provide public transportation between the highlands and Guatemala City. The film is available on DVD to purchase, rent or preview.
Matthews Buses sponsors anti-bullying program
October 31, 2013
The school and commercial bus dealership supports speaker Marc Mero and his team’s “Stop Bullying — Never Give Up Tour 2014,” which brings the Champion of Choices presentation to schools. The organization and its program empower students to make healthy and positive choices that lead to lifelong success.
Tags: bullying
Wyoming's Sheridan County School District #1 has assigned iPads to 20 school buses. Drivers have access to a variety of information, including road and weather conditions, and details about the students on their buses.
Wyoming district gets iPads for school buses
October 31, 2013
At Sheridan County School District #1, 20 iPads have been assigned to 20 vehicles, which allows the transportation staff to ensure that any bus driver has access to the technology that is available through the device, including road and travel reports, weather conditions, health information about students and students’ addresses. Transportation Director Lori Thornburg discusses with SBF how the iPads are helping to increase safety and efficiency.
EPA alleges excessive idling, fines bus company $33K
October 30, 2013
School bus operator North Reading Transportation will pay the penalty to settle EPA allegations that it violated federally enforceable motor vehicle idling limits in Massachusetts. EPA officials say that the company has responded quickly and has already implemented a number of idle-reduction measures.
Online option offered for Oklahoma recertification requirement
October 30, 2013
School Training Solutions has released an online curriculum to help Oklahoma school bus drivers meet a new recertification requirement that the State Department of Education instituted. Drivers whose certification has expired for more than a year can purchase and take these online courses through the Oklahoma Association for Pupil Transportation.
Jaeho Lee of Portland, Ore., was the overall winner of this year's National School Bus Safety Poster Contest. Lee also placed first in Division I.
Oregon student is top winner of national poster contest
October 29, 2013
The National Association for Pupil Transportation names Jaeho Lee of Portland the overall winner of this year’s National School Bus Safety Poster Contest, and Lee also places first in Division I. The theme for this year’s contest was “At my Stop — You Stop!”
Tags: NAPT
Tyler Technologies unveils cloud-based management tool
October 29, 2013
Traversa is a suite of transportation applications in one system. Providing a touch-screen interface, it gives users a total view of their operations and allows them to make real-time adjustments to bus routing, trip and activity management, work orders and fleet maintenance.
GM honors Espar for supplier quality
October 29, 2013
Espar Climate Control Systems is named a recipient of the General Motors Supplier Quality Excellence Award. Espar manufactures fuel-operated heaters and other products for a variety of mobile applications, including school buses.
Kansas school bus drivers honored for heroism
October 28, 2013
Gov. Sam Brownback proclaimed last Wednesday School Bus Drivers' Appreciation Day in the state. Rannie and Diana Schmidt were among those in the spotlight. The driving duo came across an accident last year and provided critical aid to a mother and daughter.
200 more students to get bus service in Hawaii
October 28, 2013
Beginning in November, the State Department of Education's "Get on Board" pilot program will provide school transportation to about 200 more students. The first phase of the initiative restored service to about 350 students at the beginning of the school year.
NASDPTS’ new position fully supports lap-shoulder belts for school buses, having decided to drop a clause that made the support contingent on funding being provided.
NASDPTS bolsters support for lap-shoulder belts
October 25, 2013
The state directors association had previously expressed its support for lap-shoulder belts if funding is made available. Now, the NASDPTS board strengthens its position by dropping the funding clause. However, the association is not calling for a requirement. “We believe this should be a local decision based on local need,” NASDPTS President Max Christensen says.
SafeGuard changes service life policy for STAR restraints
October 25, 2013
In the past, the service life of a STAR was six years from the date of manufacture. Now, any STAR manufactured from November 2012 or later will have an option for service life to begin from the date of invoice.
Webasto unveils new timer for engine pre-heaters
October 24, 2013
Company officials say that the SmarTemp Control fx Timer, which was on display at the National Association for Pupil Transportation trade show, is easy to program for repeat heating duration times. It allows up to four different timer settings per day.
After child choked on bus, driver charged with neglect
October 24, 2013
A school bus driver is arrested and charged with child neglect after a child was choked unconscious by another child on her bus. Detectives say that the driver “failed to provide any assistance to the victim during or after the Oct. 15 attack.”
Houston Independent School District's "School Bus Shuffle" video covers such safety topics as using the handrail when boarding the school bus, keeping one’s feet out of the aisle and reporting instances of bullying to the bus driver.
Houston drivers get creative for ‘School Bus Shuffle’ video
October 24, 2013
In honor of National School Bus Safety Week, Houston Independent School District’s transportation team created the video, which covers such topics as proper boarding procedures, how to sit on the bus and the importance of reporting bullying. Transportation Field Safety Investigator Curtis Harris wrote the song and choreographed its accompanying dance.
Tags: Texas
GO Riteway adds 20 propane buses to fleet
October 24, 2013
The Wisconsin-based contractor purchases 10 new Blue Bird Propane-Powered Vision school buses and 10 Micro Bird propane autogas buses to serve Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District, and the company marks the event with an open house at its facility. Attendees witnessed a fueling demonstration and learned about the benefits of propane.

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