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This cute shot from Canandaigua (N.Y.) City School District was a winner in last year’s SBF Photo Contest.
REMINDER: Enter SBF’s Photo Contest
May 14, 2014
SCHOOL BUS FLEET’s annual competition is open to any kind of shot related to school transportation. Three winners will receive a $100 cash prize. The deadline is Friday, May 23.
Sisters save students from burning bus
May 13, 2014
As Bettye Windom and Beth Insley were driving home on the evening of April 30, they spotted a school bus with smoke coming out of the front of it and were able to help about 20 Port Gibson (Miss.) High School students get out right before the bus caught fire.
The transportation department at Houston Independent School District earned a special recognition award from the Council of the Great City Schools.
Texas district awarded for transportation performance
May 13, 2014
The Council of the Great City Schools honors the Houston Independent School District transportation department for exemplary use of technology, staff development and training, quick and efficient service, and resource stewardship.
The transportation department at Southern California's William S. Hart Union High School District has spec'd these Blue Bird Type D school buses with components to turn them into activity buses. Blue Bird Type Ds were chosen because the department is working to standardize its fleet.
District expects activity buses to save $4,000 per trip
May 13, 2014
Southern California's William S. Hart Union High School District specs the Blue Bird Type D buses to turn them into activity buses, outfitting them with coach-style seating, overhead open storage compartments and ducted air-conditioning systems. Director of Transportation Richard Varner estimates that using these buses will cost around $2,000 per trip on the longest trips, compared to $6,000 for a charter bus.
STA secures $10 million California contract
May 12, 2014
The school bus contractor will serve San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools beginning in January under the five and a half year agreement, and it will provide 133 new, ultra-low-emission vehicles and 31 propane autogas vehicles. STA also reports that all major contracts that were part of the acquisition of Atlantic Express’ California assets have been extended.
The California Highway Patrol won the 2014 California State Child Safety Award for its role in safe pupil transportation. Pictured is the agency's headquarters in Sacramento. Photo by Evan Beaver/CHP
California Highway Patrol awarded for school bus safety efforts
May 12, 2014
The law enforcement agency, which annually inspects more than 23,000 school buses in the state and plays a key role in certifying school bus drivers, wins the 2014 California State Child Safety Award. The honor is presented by the Child Safety Network.
David Pettit (right), director of transportation at Missouri's Joplin Schools, accepts a Tyler Public Sector Excellence Award from Ted Thien, senior vice president and general manager of Tyler's Versatrans solution.Photo courtesy of Business Wire
District honored for school bus routing after tornado
May 12, 2014
The transportation department at Missouri's Joplin Schools receives the 2014 Public Sector Excellence Award from Tyler Technologies for its creative use of the Versatrans transportation management system following a May 2011 tornado, including identifying students affected by the disaster and creating new routes around the damaged areas. Two more school districts are among the seven other award recipients.
Bob Pape, partner and officer secretary with Dell Transportation in Port Washington, N.Y., brings more than 40 years of experience in pupil transportation to his new role as president of the New York School Bus Contractors Association.
Bob Pape named president of New York contractors association
May 9, 2014
Pape, partner and officer secretary with Dell Transportation in Port Washington, N.Y., has served on the New York School Bus Contractors Association board of directors since 2007, and he brings more than 40 years of experience in pupil transportation to his new role as president of the association. “Our goal as an association has been, and will continue to be, to deliver the best pupil transportation services in the country,” Pape says.
Tags: New York
Zonar files patent infringement suit against Synovia
May 9, 2014
Zonar Systems confirms that it has filed a patent infringement action against Synovia Solutions LLC. In the complaint, Synovia is accused of infringing the patent under which Zonar has developed and deployed its Z Pass student ridership reporting solution.
Espar engine pre-heater available in Trans Tech buses
May 9, 2014
The company’s E-Guardian 5 engine pre-heater is available on the Type A school bus manufacturer’s buses immediately. The E-Guardian 5 is EPA verified and California Air Resources Board approved, and officials say some of the benefits of the system include a warm engine start without plug-ins, reduced engine idling for fuel savings, less engine maintenance and use of the Multi-Max Digital Controller for ease of use.
Powertrain Integration's 8.0L V8 propane autogas engine, dubbed the PIthon, is the engine platform for Thomas Built Buses' new propane-powered Saf-T-Liner C2.
8.0L PIthon engine to power Thomas Built propane bus
May 9, 2014
Powertrain Integration (PI) names its 8.0L V8 propane autogas engine the PIthon. It has been selected as the engine platform for Thomas Built Buses' new propane-powered Saf-T-Liner C2 school bus.
Video surveillance footage from a Clarksville-Montgomery County School System bus shows a woman and five other adults walking into the bus against the driver’s objections (the driver is at right in the screenshot). The woman yells at and threatens the children.<br/><small>Screenshot from video obtained by <i>Leaf-Chronicle</i></small>
Video shows woman boarding bus, threatening children
May 8, 2014
The woman, Kela leshia Hand, confronts a child she believed hit her stepdaughter and threatens the other children on the bus. She is later joined by her partner and four other adults, who walk into the bus against the driver’s objections.
Hoover City Schools' plan outlines a school bus fee structure that ranges from $0.43 to $2.26 per student per day.
Alabama district delays school bus fee plan by 1 year
May 8, 2014
Hoover City Schools' plan to charge fees for student transportation is now being targeted for the 2015-16 school year instead of 2014-15. The plan outlines a fee structure that ranges from $0.43 to $2.26 per day, depending on how many student riders a family has and whether they qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.
Rotary Lift’s in-house assistPRO team works with individual customers and architects to create custom shop layouts.
Rotary Lift expands facility planning assistance
May 7, 2014
The vehicle lift supplier is increasing digital options in its free assistPRO service to give customers additional options for creating custom shop layouts. The number of shops taking advantage of the program has more than doubled over the past five years as the economy has improved, Rotary Lift officials say.
Robust program planned for U.K. transport conference
May 7, 2014
Interchangeability 2014 will be held in Buckinghamshire, England, June 15-18, and officials say attendees will be able to choose from more than 35 seminars and workshops that will cover such topics as planning for the future, how to deliver more with less and how to include young people with special needs in transportation planning. Organizers say that U.S. and Canadian pupil transportation delegates are encouraged to attend.
Residents of Marshfield, Mass., who attended a recent town meeting passed an article that requires all school buses used by the local school district for regular routes, sporting events and field trips to be equipped with three-point seat belts. Photo by Wikipedia user ToddC4176
Residents in Massachusetts town approve seat belts for buses
May 7, 2014
Residents in Marshfield pass an article that requires all school buses used by the local school district for regular routes, sporting events and field trips to be equipped with three-point seat belts, starting in 2016. Resident Stephen Lynch, who brought forth the article, says that students will not be required to wear the belts, but they would “have the choice to be protected.”
Photo by Pamela Iberer
REMINDER: We want your input for our Contractor Survey
May 7, 2014
SBF is currently conducting its 2014 Contractor Survey, and questions will address such topics as driver recruitment, federal regulations impacting pupil transportation and cutting costs. Managers and executives at school bus companies are encouraged to submit responses by the May 9 deadline.
12-year-old arrested after shots fired at school bus
May 6, 2014
According to police in Baton Rouge, La., a student had an altercation with another student on the bus. When the suspect gets off of the bus, he runs into his home, grabs a handgun and fires three shots at the bus. No one is injured in the shooting.
First Student celebrates its employees
May 6, 2014
The school bus contractor will hold employee appreciation days Tuesday through Thursday this week in recognition of its nearly 60,000 drivers, attendants, technicians, managers and additional staff. Officials say every First Student location will hold an event to honor employees for their hard work and commitment.
Mesa Public Schools Director of Transportation Ron Latko will retire from the district on May 22. He will then move into transportation consulting work.
Ron Latko to retire from Arizona school district
May 6, 2014
Latko, who has served as director of transportation at Mesa Public Schools for eight years, will retire at the end of this school year. He reflects on his career and tells SBF what lies ahead for him: school transportation consulting work.

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