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Orange USD Transportation Supervisor Ellen Johnson (front row, far left) and Director of Transportation Pam McDonald (to Johnson’s left) say they take a “family photo” with the bus drivers every school year.Photo by Suzan Grab
6 tips to strengthen relationships with unions
November 19, 2013

Being in a transportation management position can sometimes feel like being in between a rock and a hard place. However, directors who have effective working relationships with their unions say frequent communication, pitching in to build a team, and researching collective bargaining agreements help.

Tags: unions
iStock image © hjalmeida
School bus fights: how drivers can intervene
November 5, 2013

Intervention doesn’t have to mean using physical force. Calling dispatch for help, stopping and securing the bus, and giving orders to the students are key steps in responding.

Linda Burtwistle says overseeing First Student and giving its employees tools to help them grow has been energizing and rewarding.
14 phenomenal women in school transportation
October 24, 2013

In this new feature, we spotlight dedicated women from around the nation ranging from school bus drivers, trainers and administrative assistants to bus company executives, directors of transportation and state directors whose work helps to keep students safe.

Taxis are commonly used to transport students in Chicago, among other places.iStock image © benkrut
Gauging the safety of school bus alternatives
October 15, 2013

Many school districts and contractors are employing a variety of vehicles to supplement traditional yellow bus service. These alternative arrangements often cut costs and shorten ride times, but the safety implications of transporting students in taxis, vans and other non-school bus vehicles have become a contentious issue.

Tap into the benefits of getting certified
October 4, 2013

There are benefits beyond the educational aspect. A pupil transportation certification can give you an edge over other candidates when applying for a new job.

Tags: NAPT
NAPT News & Views — NTSB official, Carrollton film on tap for 2013 Summit
October 4, 2013

NTSB Vice Chairman Christopher A. Hart will headline the NAPT/NASDPTS joint session. Emmy-nominated writer and historian Daniel Blake Smith will present a screening of the film “Impact: After the Crash,” a reenactment of the catastrophic 1988 bus crash in Carrollton, Ky., that shares inspirational stories of survivors.

 

The Infofinder mobile, a web-based solution from Transfinder, lets district personnel access and share data and reports on student bus stops and locations, schools, bus routes and maps from their mobile device or computer.
Apps, web tools help directors organize data, manage staff
October 3, 2013

Directors deal with packed schedules and the need to frequently be offsite. The latest apps and web tools provide the ability to manage attendance, access up-to-date fleet information, and more quickly share vital information with staff in emergencies even when they are not sitting behind their desks.

Top 100 News
October 1, 2013

News related to the Top 100 School District Fleets includes cost-cutting measures that improved performance at a Virginia district, a significant reduction in diesel use in Florida school fleets, and hands-on survival rescue training at a Houston district.

Yellow bus laws: Is driver's ed doing enough?
September 25, 2013

I’ve often asked myself why you should have to educate the public on school bus safety laws. I’ve always believed it’s something that people should learn in driver’s education class.

3 reasons for bus drivers to get fit, and how to get there
September 24, 2013

For school bus drivers, obtaining a basic level of fitness and maintaining a healthy weight will enhance safety, professionalism and personal wellness. The job can actually provide a good structure for making time to exercise and eat well.

First Student and Thomas Built Buses’ partnership hinges on a high level of collaboration and transparency. Their efforts are helping both companies become more efficient and make improvements that could benefit the entire industry.
How Thomas, First Student are working toward a better bus
September 20, 2013

First Student and Thomas Built Buses’ partnership hinges on a high level of collaboration and transparency. Their efforts are helping both companies become more efficient and make improvements that could benefit the entire industry.

Here, Mesa (Ariz.) Public Schools substitute drivers pre-trip buses in preparation for a run. Director of Transportation and Vehicle Maintenance Ron Latko says subs are “life savers” to a transportation operation because they are flexible in what they do.
Subs: Choosing the right drivers for the job
September 19, 2013

Managers at school districts and bus companies say that they typically select these drivers from their existing pool of employees, and during the application or interview process, they look for candidates who have strong student management skills and understand the operation’s goals. Managers also share other qualifications and specifics of overseeing these members of the team.

School buses: no trespassing
September 17, 2013

As with stop-arm running, an important component in any campaign against school bus trespassing is public awareness. Parents and others need to know that they are prohibited from boarding the bus.

A tribute to the school bus builders
September 17, 2013

There seems to be a great sense of pride and fulfillment in their work. Indeed, they’re building one of the safest vehicles on the road — a vehicle that millions of schoolchildren rely on.

NAPT News & Views — Like fire drills, shooter drills are vital
September 12, 2013

We need to develop a proactive approach — meaning run purposefully, hide intelligently and fight fiercely, in that order (fight only as a last resort) — to an active shooter scenario and teach it to everyone, especially students. The drill should be done in conjunction with local law enforcement personnel.

The JobClock Hornet is a wireless time clock that tracks remote bus drivers in real time. The technology automatically sends digital time records to the payroll offices of drivers being tracked.
Track time to save time
September 10, 2013

JobClock Hornet from ExakTime is a wireless time clock that tracks employees’ hours, location and job activities. Digital time records are automatically sent to payroll offices, helping to increase efficiency and save money by reducing the potential for inaccuracy on paper timecards.

iStock image © Kativ
On the quest for green dollars
September 5, 2013

For fleets struggling to find the funds to buy alt-fuel vehicles, there is money available. The key to getting it is to formulate a plan, build relationships and pay attention to the details.

iStock image © fotostorm
9 tips for thwarting cyberbaiting
September 3, 2013

Cyberbaiting — when students taunt a teacher or bus driver to record their reaction — can lead to embarrassing online exposure. Here’s an overview of the problem and tips to help your drivers prevent it.

6 keys to success in leadership development
August 29, 2013

No organization excels with only one leader. Developing a team of leaders is essential for future growth and sustainability.

Medford Township Public Schools has solar roof and ground arrays at seven locations, including its transportation facility. Pictured is the district’s Chairville Elementary School and the transportation center.
New Jersey district embraces new ideas and saves big
August 27, 2013

Medford Township Public Schools continually seeks out opportunities to grow its sustainability practices, reduce transportation costs and generate revenue, which have been accomplished through such initiatives as a solar project, shared bus service and running vehicles on biodiesel. From the solar project alone, the district has realized savings of $300,000 annually.

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