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16 key school transportation issues in the New Year
January 26, 2015

NAPT News & Views: As we begin a new year, we want you to have a snapshot of the issues we consider front and center for our industry. Here are some issues on the NAPT public policy radar screen in 2015.

Cheryl Wolf is a special-needs transportation consultant based in Lafayette, Indiana. She is also a member of School Bus Fleet’s editorial advisory board. She can be reached at cwolf22@comcast.net.
Bolstering specialized training for school bus drivers
January 26, 2015

More districts are including cross training among drivers of both general-education and special-needs students. This will enable them to step into a different bus situation and transport all students in their care safely.

Alt-fuel Vehicles, Safety Tools on Tap at NAPT Trade Show
January 22, 2015

Several alternative-fuel vehicles debuted during the show in Kansas City, Missouri, including two new CNG school buses and an all-electric bus. Also, safety-related products, such as a stop-arm violation data system and a student and vehicle tracking system, grabbed the spotlight.

Jim Beekman Awarded for Efficiency Efforts, Keen Leadership
January 20, 2015

Beekman galvanized the Orange County (Fla.) Public Schools transportation department and implemented numerous improvements, which led to increased efficiency, multi-million-dollar savings and high staff morale.

Tags: Florida
SWAT team members sweep a school bus after the live-action event that simulated a response to an active shooter.
Conferences Target School Bus Security, Leadership Skills
January 14, 2015

Here, we recap highlights from the NAPT Summit and NASDPTS Conference, which were held in Kansas City, Missouri, in November. Sessions covered such pertinent topics as shooter response training, student safety and leadership, and awards recognized vital contributions to pupil transportation.

Tags: NAPT, NASDPTS
14 signs and symptoms of 'bleeding yellow'
December 2, 2014

If bleeding yellow were a medical condition, how would a doctor diagnose you with it?

Tags: NAPT
Bright ideas to make sure drivers buckle up
November 25, 2014

It’s up to each school bus driver to wear his or her seat belt at all times while operating the bus, but we know from seeing occasional reports that there are some drivers who aren’t always buckling up. With that in mind, transportation supervisors have to reinforce the importance of driver seat belt compliance, and they have to monitor that compliance.

China Faces Challenges in Bolstering School Bus Safety
November 20, 2014

A fatal school van crash in China in 2011 confirmed the need for stronger safety measures in transporting students. Industry veterans from the U.S. are sharing their expertise with Chinese counterparts, but the country’s vast population, extreme traffic congestion and other factors present obstacles to implementing an American-style yellow bus system.

Max Christensen and his wife, Lisa, adopted two children from China: Olivia and Isaiah. They are pictured at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
14 Fascinating Personalities in Pupil Transportation
November 14, 2014

A WWII veteran who is still training school bus drivers in his 90s. A mechanic-turned-manager who test-drove a bus to Toad Suck, Arkansas. A state director who used to be a hair stylist. Get the scoop on these and other intriguing school bus people in the return of this popular series.

Family members and friends of school bus driver Jennifer Foughty are pictured here in front of her bus. Foughty died unexpectedly in 2013 at age 39.
6 Helpful Routes to Take When a School Bus Driver Dies
November 5, 2014

What courses of action should a transportation leader follow when a school bus driver dies? Here, a veteran director who recently faced that sad situation shares steps to help staff members, students and the driver’s family deal with their loss.

Connected vehicle technology, or v2v, enables vehicles to communicate with each other and/or the infrastructure by radio signals or Wi-Fi signals about their speed, location and direction 10 times a second to prevent crashes. Photo by ITS America.
Will Ramped-up Vehicle Tech Bring Smarter, Safer School Buses?
October 31, 2014

With advancements such as Google’s road-testing of self-driving cars, the notion is no longer relegated to episodes of “The Jetsons.” However, practical use is still a long way off, though automated vehicle technology and connected vehicle technology are arriving in increments. School bus manufacturers are keeping pace, as the technology stands to help enhance pupil transportation safety even further.

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.

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