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School bus driver's smile went a long way
October 16, 2014

Valerie Robertino was impatient to get home when she pulled up behind a school bus with its red lights flashing and stop arm extended. As she waited behind the bus, what she saw cut through her bad mood and left a lasting impression on her.

NAPT News & Views — Seat belts on buses? You decide
October 14, 2014

NAPT and NSTA were informed that NHTSA’s best advice on the matter is in a single document: the 2011 denial of a petition that the agency mandate seat belts in large school buses.

There has been a noticeable uptick in LED bus light sales recently, according to suppliers. Pictured is an LED unit from TRP Bus Parts.
School Bus LED Benefits Increase as Costs Decrease
October 3, 2014

The price gap between LEDs and incandescent lights has gotten smaller in recent years. With their longer life, higher light output and lower maintenance, LEDs are delivering a great return on investment for school bus operations.

Tags: lighting
Moving from the driver’s seat to the rear exit is one job-related task that may be timed in an agility test. Drivers and a bus monitor are shown here performing a New York physical performance test.
Driver Agility Testing: Variations and Applications Nationwide
October 3, 2014

Where and how agility testing requirements become part of the hiring process varies across the U.S. Here, we take a look at different ways agility tests are used, check in with states using a mandated, formalized test, and report on additional developments in agility test considerations.

Richfield Springs (N.Y.) Central School ensures a safe and equitable prom experience for all students by providing a “yellow limo” for transportation.
Extracurricular Bus Service Provides Safe Access to Learning, Experiences
October 1, 2014

Keeping students safe, simplifying coordination, and equitability are just some of the benefits that running school bus service for extracurricular student activities offers. Strapped districts keep costs down through partnerships and being creative with
their fleets.

Owatonna Bus Co. has six locations, serving 48 states and all Canadian provinces. Though the company’s bread and butter is school buses, its various locations also offer services such as a full paint booth for outside work, charter coaches and special-needs transportation. 
Owatonna Bus Co. Shares TCO Secrets
September 30, 2014

Greg Lammers, Owatonna Bus Co.’s fleet manager, attributes his success to a dependable software management system and efficient procedures, which keep his total cost of ownership at a minimum.

Affordable Care Act: 5 things everyone needs to know
September 24, 2014

Employers with plan years that do not start on Jan. 1 will be able to begin compliance with employer responsibility at the start of their plan years in 2015 rather than on Jan. 1, 2015.

Fuel tax exemption must be protected
September 18, 2014

School bus operations have been exempt from the federal fuel tax since 1978. Keeping it that way is a key concern for many in the industry.

Tags: taxes
NAPT News & Views — Why you should love the bus
September 17, 2014

Mid-August through mid-September each year is the perfect time to let everyone know about a project that began in 2007 called “Love the Bus.” I encourage everyone who cares about school buses to learn more about what NAPT and its partners in the American School Bus Council are doing to promote the yellow school bus and help us by spreading the word.

The Continental HSR2 features a protective curb rib to increase the durability of the sidewall against abrasions, protecting the casing. The tire also features Continental-engineered VAI technology in the shoulders to alert drivers and fleet managers to early signs of alignment wear.
Tire Offerings Aim to Lower Costs, Enhance Safety
September 15, 2014

Early warning systems for wear-and-tear, and features that extend tire life and improve
drivability in difficult weather conditions, help school bus operators navigate tough roads and handle frequent starts and stops safely and efficiently.

Tags: tires
How to Cut Costs by Mastering Time and Space, Part 2: Zero with an Asterisk
September 11, 2014

Learn how a paratransit service absorbed 16% more passengers with no added cost. The example can be applied to pupil transportation: Optimizing the spatial and temporal relationships of one’s service area can yield big cost savings.
Second in a series of occasional articles

Pre-screening, taking a conversational tone, and picking the right interview team members help find the right fit. iStock image.
Beyond the Resume: 6 Tips for Conducting Effective Interviews
September 9, 2014

Since a resume may not provide vital information, such as whether an applicant is assertive, has a positive attitude and enjoys working with children, interviewing is a critical component of the hiring process. Pre-screening, taking a conversational tone, and picking the right interview team members help find the right fit.

For Gallagher, Commitment to Customer Fuels Great Growth
August 29, 2014

In 17 years, Student Transportation Inc. leader Denis Gallagher has built his company into the third-largest school bus contracting firm in North America. Along the way, he has embraced alternative fuels and new technologies, focused on recruiting good people, and maintained a 95% contract renewal rate.

A Micro Bird propane autogas school bus drops off students in Florida. School bus operations have been reporting significant fuel and maintenance savings with propane.
State Funding, Fuel Savings Drive Propane Bus Adoption in Florida
August 29, 2014

With reduced operating costs and a rebate program for propane autogas vehicles, Florida school districts are tapping the alternative fuel as an economical and environmental solution. Broward County recently added 98 propane school buses to its fleet.

How Ed Bobit impacted pupil transportation
August 15, 2014

Beyond his pioneering in trade magazine publishing, Ed was a crucial figure in the survival of NAPT in its early years.

Tags: NAPT
NAPT News & Views — Court: School bus fees unconstitutional
August 15, 2014

After voters declined referendums to raise property taxes to increase revenues for schools, Franklin Township in Indianapolis tried discontinuing their school bus service and contracting with a private firm to transport students, charging parents a fee for the service. The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that the township violated the state constitution.

Tags: bus fees, NAPT
Identifying drug abuse among students
August 14, 2014

Really listen to what your students are saying on your bus. Doing so might prevent an active shooter, a case of bullying, drug addiction or even your own death.

This photo shows the aftermath of a South Carolina incident in which a teenage girl was struck by a vehicle passing her bus. The girl’s shoes lie in the road; her backpack is on top of the bus.
Stop-arm incident photo is worth 1,000 words
August 14, 2014

One interesting detail in the journey of a South Carolina stop-arm camera measure through the legislative process is the role that a photo played. Bill sponsor Sen. Thomas Alexander showed the shocking picture to other legislators to help galvanize support for the bill.

Staged photo by Brevard Public Schools (Fla.)
Pinpointing a Successful Stop-arm Camera Program
August 14, 2014

Districts that have deployed stop-arm cameras on school buses have seen success in citing violators, but they also focus on educating the public to help reduce the illegal-passing problem. Stop-arm camera system suppliers weigh in on ways to succeed in violation enforcement and prevention.

Post-accident procedure committees and team members typically take pictures of the scene, review related reports and create a plan to prevent future similar incidents.
Post-accident Procedures Committees Key in Prevention
August 13, 2014

Whether using a committee or more informal arrangement, selecting the right members, having procedures in place in advance for determining preventable measures and driver retraining are crucial.  

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