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Ricon suggests that its lifts be loaded with the wheelchair facing out of the bus, so the battery of the chair is at the back of the lift.
Focused on occupant safety
November 10, 2011

Ricon Corp.’s K and S Series wheelchair lifts feature an interlocked restraint belt, as well as barriers to prevent excessive rolling on the platform. The company offers training for operators and technicians.

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can affect cognitive, communicative, behavioral, social-emotional and physical ability. Pictured is Mike, a student who sustained a TBI.
Specific special-needs evacuations: TBI and near drowning
November 7, 2011

Students who have suffered a traumatic brain injury or near drowning will require close physical safeguards and assistance in a bus evacuation. The commotion could set off a seizure.

©iStockphoto.com/Brad Killer
4 tips for defusing difficult people
November 3, 2011

Pupil transportation leaders often have to meet with angry people. Staying calm, being respectful, and listening carefully and actively can go a long way toward resolving conflicts.

©iStockphoto.com/Nancy Brammer
School boards on busing challenges, successes
October 28, 2011

In this roundtable, board members from four school districts share insight on the struggle to maintain school bus services in the face of funding shortfalls.

NASDPTS President Mike Simmons says the most surprising finding of a national survey was the number of illegal passes on the right side of the bus.
Q&A: NASDPTS' Mike Simmons strives for team efforts
October 27, 2011

Kicking off his second year as NASDPTS president, Mike Simmons focuses on promoting pupil transportation with other associations and the feds. He also aims to get more states involved in a national stop-arm running survey.

Tags: NASDPTS
Justin Wilczynski became fascinated by school buses when he first rode one at age 4. He is pictured here (standing) with staff from his transportation department.
Young guns in the yellow bus industry
October 25, 2011

In this new feature, we turn the spotlight on the younger side of school transportation. Find out how these movers and shakers got involved in the industry, how they contribute to its success and what they see in its future.

Alexandra Robinson (right) has headed many presentations at NAPT conferences. Also pictured is Launi Schmutz, director of transportation at Washington County School District in St. George, Utah.
Photo by Jaime Gallego.
Q&A: NAPT's Alexandra Robinson casts an eye on the future
October 20, 2011

At this year’s conference in Cincinnati, Alexandra Robinson will become president of the National Association for Pupil Transportation. Her goals include analyzing the link between student achievement and access to school bus service, and maintaining and growing the industry’s pool of strong leaders.

Tags: NAPT
The Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati will host this year's NASDPTS and NAPT conferences. Photo by J. Miles Wolf.
Annual association conferences: off to Ohio
October 18, 2011

This year’s NASDPTS and NAPT conferences will be held in Cincinnati, covering such topics as student behavior challenges, stop-arm violations and maintaining a transportation program under serious budget restraints. The NAPT trade show will feature more than 100 exhibits from industry suppliers.

Who’s behind the wheel?: optimizing driver background checks
October 13, 2011

Officials say it is important to conduct both federal and state checks, as well as monitor applicants’ driving records. Pupil transporters discuss their operations’ hiring policies and procedures, which include contacting previous employers, and also share suggestions on ways the industry could protect itself against undesirable candidates who move from state to state.

Dan Daniels, president of Trans Tech Bus, says the company's new eTrans Type A all-electric school bus will be ideal for short, defined, repetitive routes.
Trans Tech goes green with electric school bus
October 11, 2011

The Type A school bus manufacturer’s 42-passenger eTrans unit will feature a zero-emissions chassis, a regenerative braking system and the ability to travel 100 to 130 miles per charge. The bus is scheduled to debut at this year’s National Association for Pupil Transportation conference and to go into production next year.

An extra eye in the bus
October 6, 2011

Footage from surveillance cameras can exonerate bus drivers who are falsely accused; on the other hand, it can help in correcting a driver or aide who may not be following proper procedures.

Target bus stop dangers
September 30, 2011

I recently heard the harrowing story of Jaycee Dugard’s life for nearly two decades after she was abducted from a school bus stop in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., in 1991 by convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido and held captive in the backyard of his home. This got me thinking about what school districts can do to maximize student safety at bus stops.

Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a genetic disorder that is commonly called “brittle bone disease.” Fernando, a student with Type III OI, prefers his walker slightly shorter than his therapist does.
Specific Special-Needs Evacuations: OI
September 30, 2011

Students with osteogenesis imperfecta have bones that break easily. In spite of the urgency of a school bus evacuation, these passengers must be moved slowly and carefully.

Photo by Barry Johnson
Many paths lead to yellow busing
September 27, 2011

Here, several industry professionals share how they got their start in pupil transportation.

The 2009 Maryland Driver Instructor Conference had a pirate theme: “Navigating the High Seas of Transportation.”
Getting the most out of in-service training
September 20, 2011

Theories on adult learning suggest that for it to be effective, educators must gain buy-in from the adults, get them involved in the topic and keep presentations fresh. Creating a theme for instructional sessions, a technique that can easily be applied to training for pupil transporters, helps to achieve buy-in and involvement.

NAPT News & Views — The federal fuel economy mandate
September 19, 2011

President Obama recently announced he was ordering the creation of a new national policy that would result in less greenhouse gas pollution from medium- and heavy-duty trucks for the first time. It seems to me the linchpin of long-term success here is simple: Companies still have to meet customer demands at an affordable price.

Tags: EPA, NAPT
A bus’ cross-view mirrors adjusted to meet FMVSS 111. Rosco Vision Systems’ Dave McDonald says it represents a view 12 feet out in front of the bus at the height of a small child, and that you should see the lenses at this location.
How to position and use bus mirrors
September 15, 2011

Officials say the most important component of this effort is complying with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 111, which sets forth field-of-vision requirements. They also provide tips on establishing the danger zone around a bus so it is visible in the mirrors, and they discuss proper mirror adjustment.

Pasco County Schools includes bus safety videos on its transportation web page that can be used by its schools during morning announcements.
Tips for Enhancing Your Transportation Website
September 13, 2011

A well-designed pupil transportation website should be easy to navigate, contain information pertinent to its users and be updated regularly.

Tags: NASDPTS
Hector is a fourth-grade student who uses a manual wheelchair for his mobility, as he was born with myelomeningocele, the most significant form of spina bifida.
Specific Special-Needs Evacuations: Spina Bifida
September 9, 2011

This condition is a birth defect that involves incomplete development of the spinal cord, often resulting in paralysis of a student’s lower extremities. Many with spina bifida will be totally dependent on the bus staff, so a well thought out evacuation plan is critical. Part 4 of this series also covers spinal cord injuries.

NAPT Summit: great networking opportunities
September 8, 2011

Call me old-fashioned, but I still think the ideal is to talk face to face. The upcoming Annual Summit of the National Association for Pupil Transportation is one of the best ways to make connections and talk face to face with school bus industry peers.

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