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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.
Norman, Okla., police officers have partnered with Norman Public Schools for the “Badges on Buses” initiative to catch motorists who illegally pass stopped school buses.
District catches stop-arm runners with ‘Badges on Buses’
October 24, 2013
Norman (Okla.) Public Schools partners with a group of police officers for the initiative, in which one officer rides a school bus while other officers follow the bus in unmarked units. The officer on the bus radios the accompanying officers upon spotting a bus-passing violation, and enforcement action is taken.
Health insurance mandate extended for large employers
October 24, 2013
Employers that have 50 or more full-time employees now have more time to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s requirement regarding reporting on the health insurance that the employer does or does not offer. Large employers will not be penalized next year if they do not provide workers with health insurance — the health insurance mandate will not be effective until Jan. 1, 2015, which was extended from Jan. 1, 2014.
The first IC Bus CE Series school bus with the Cummins ISB 6.7-liter engine was publicly unveiled for the first time at the NAPT trade show.
IC Bus unit with Cummins ISB debuts at NAPT
October 23, 2013
The first IC Bus CE Series school bus with the Cummins ISB 6.7-liter engine is publicly unveiled for the first time at the National Association for Pupil Transportation trade show. The manufacturer began taking orders for the ISB-equipped CE Series earlier this month.
The QRT-360 wheelchair retractor tie-down system meets the higher-strength requirements of WC18 that take effect in December 2015.
New Q’Straint retractor meets WC18 standard
October 23, 2013
The QRT-360 wheelchair retractor tie-down system meets the higher-strength requirements of WC18 that take effect in December 2015. At that time, compliance with WC18 will require frontal-impact sled testing of the wheelchair tie-down system with a crash-test dummy restrained by a three-point, lap-shoulder belt with a lap belt anchored to the 187-lb. surrogate wheelchair, such that a large percentage of the wheelchair-passenger restraint forces are transmitted to the rear tie-down straps.
Blue Bird, Synovia Solutions partner to offer Blue Bird Connect
October 22, 2013
Blue Bird Connect is a GPS system from Synovia Solutions, and the school bus manufacturer is making the system available to customers as a factory option when they order new buses. Customers have the option to activate, at no upfront cost, any or all components of Blue Bird Connect. Blue Bird dealers can also upfit an existing fleet of buses with the technology, regardless of brand.
Minnesota poster contest winners ‘hit it out of the park’
October 22, 2013
The top three place-winners for each grade in the state School Bus Safety Poster Contest were invited to watch a Minnesota Twins game, where they took the field to be recognized in a pre-game ceremony. State director Lt. Brian Reu shares details on the event, for which his office teamed up with state associations.
California's Kings Canyon Unified School District will reportedly receive the first of the new SST-e all-electric school bus from Trans Tech Bus and partner Motiv Power Systems. 
Trans Tech, Motiv partner for new all-electric school bus
October 22, 2013
The Type A school bus manufacturer and Motiv Power Systems have developed the SST-e, which will be revealed at the National Association for Pupil Transportation trade show on Tuesday and Wednesday. The bus is built on a Ford E-450 chassis, utilizing the all-battery, all-chassis compatible Motiv electric Powertrain Control System, and has a capacity of 30 students, or 24 students and one wheelchair, according to company officials.
During the NAPT awards banquet, Lydia Poland Hancock accepted the Heroism Award on behalf of her father, Alabama school bus driver Charles Poland, who was fatally shot in the line of duty in January. Also pictured is Hancock's husband.
Charles Poland honored posthumously for heroism
October 22, 2013
Outstanding pupil transportation professionals were in the spotlight on Sunday night at the annual National Association for Pupil Transportation awards banquet. The event included a moving tribute to Charles “Chuck” Poland Jr., the Alabama school bus driver who was slain in the line of duty in January.
Thomas Built is now beginning pilot production of a CNG-fueled Minotour Type A school bus. (The model pictured is not a CNG version.) 
Thomas Built to launch CNG-powered Type A school bus
October 22, 2013
The manufacturer is now starting pilot production of a compressed natural gas (CNG) Minotour, with official production slated to start in the first quarter of 2014. The CNG model will utilize a GM 6-liter engine on the 4500 series cutaway chassis.
Next year’s NAPT Summit will incorporate the America’s Best tech/inspect event and a new competition related to special-needs transportation. It will be held in Kansas City, Mo. (pictured).
Big changes in store for 2014 Summit
October 22, 2013
Next year’s NAPT Summit in Kansas City, Mo., will incorporate the America’s Best school bus tech/inspect event and a new competition related to special-needs transportation. Also, the schedule will be streamlined to four days — Saturday to Tuesday. Here, NAPT Executive Director Mike Martin explains the changes.

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