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NAPT News & Views — When NTSB talks, we listen!
January 29, 2013

Over the years, the National Transportation Safety Board has become the gold standard for safety recommendations that should be taken to heart, and the agency’s vice chairman, Christopher Hart, is among its best keepers of the flame. There was much to be learned from his excellent presentation at the NAPT Summit in Memphis, Tenn., in October.

Bus drivers vs. bad stereotypes
January 29, 2013

Comments in a few of the latest Thomas Built Buses Children’s Choice School Bus Driver of the Year essays pointed to a negative perception of school bus drivers that the children had developed based on what they had read or seen on screen. But, fortunately, the kids’ worries were put to rest when they actually rode the bus and had positive experiences with their drivers.

Regarding pupil transportation in New York City, Alex Robinson says that "driving, routing and picking up within huge, complex traffic patterns is difficult. But we do it very safely."
Photo by Jaime Gallego
Alex Robinson builds training in NYC, partnerships at NAPT
January 24, 2013

Two months after becoming president of NAPT, Alex Robinson began running the largest school district transportation department in the nation in December 2011. Since then, her staff at the NYC Office of Pupil Transportation has undergone more than 40 hours of training, and NAPT has grown its connections to relevant organizations around the globe.

David Anderson, the director of transportation and fleet service at Adams 12 Five Star Schools, has long been a proponent of adopting alternative fuels and retrofitting older diesel buses to reduce emissions.
David Anderson named SBF's Administrator of the Year
January 22, 2013

The director of transportation and fleet service at Colorado’s Adams 12 Five Star Schools has orchestrated adjustments to school bell times to make busing more efficient, for an overall savings of $900,000. He has also set up mechanic apprenticeship programs to help young people enter the field.

Greg Akin (left) of Volusia County (Fla.) Schools, Pete Meslin of Newport-Mesa Unified School District in Costa Mesa, Calif., and Judy Shanley of Easter SealsProject ACTION highlighted the benefits of transition planning.
NASDPTS looks at ways to enhance training, service
January 17, 2013

From routing strategies to innovative facilities, speakers at the state directors conference share numerous ideas for enhancing school bus service and training. The NASDPTS membership continues to change, with more state directors announcing their retirement.

The family of Hunter Pitt, who was killed when his school bus ran over him, watches a safety video they worked on with Missouri organizations. On screen is the driver of the bus that ran over Hunter, Willie Leonberger.
Distracted driving, bullying are key concerns in Memphis
January 15, 2013

A session at the NAPT Summit addresses ways that managers contribute to distracted driving, while a keynote presentation covers fatal school bus accidents caused by inattentive drivers. Handling problematic student behavior is the focus of a panel discussion and a joint presentation. At the trade show, Blue Bird unveils its redesigned Type D buses.

The case for crossing arms
January 10, 2013

Many actions have resulted in reducing the overall average danger zone fatalities from 29 to 12, but by far the greatest reduction is in front of the bus — a 73% reduction compared to 47% in the other positions. Jeff Cassell, president of the School Bus Safety Co., says he believes the answer is crossing arms.

Debbie Rike, director of transportation for Shelby County Schools, talks with bus driver Curby White outside of Shadowlawn Middle School.
A day in the life of a transportation director
January 8, 2013

At Shelby County Schools, enhanced driver training and partnerships with school staff have led to drastic improvements in student behavior on the bus. Here, we spend a day with Director of Transportation Debbie Rike to see how she steers the operation toward success.

School bus drivers: Is trust enough?
December 4, 2012

The message should be framed not as “this monitoring device is here to make sure you don’t break the rules” but as “this device is here to protect you as well as the students.”

'Legends of the Fall': partners to protect the yellow bus
December 4, 2012

NAPT is going to be very involved in making policymakers at all levels of government aware of the vexing problems created when school bus service is threatened by cuts (in dollars or routes) or eliminated.

Taking on the top challenges of the job
December 4, 2012

Clearly, the job of transportation director is not getting any easier. It takes people with a healthy supply of those “Top Traits” to lead transportation departments through these challenging times.

Central States Bus Sales is headquartered in Fenton, Mo., and serves five Midwestern states: Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois and Tennessee. The company has been a dealer for Blue Bird since 1975.
Blue Bird dealer revamps training, pushes alt-fuels
November 27, 2012

Now in its 37th year of business, Central States Bus Sales recently strengthened efforts to focus on the school bus manufacturer’s green technologies and provide comprehensive instruction for customers in the process.

Aging fleets: How do we compete for resources?
November 20, 2012

If the fleet gets past a certain age, we can count on higher maintenance costs, reduced dependability, driver frustration, the need for more mechanics and maybe not meeting our school customers’ expectations.

©iStockimage.com/ChristopherFutcher
What to do when students act out
November 13, 2012

Expanding discipline policies to cover both transportation and campus life, providing crisis intervention training to staff and sharing relevant student information with the right personnel will help minimize student violence on the bus and in the classroom.

Evacuating passengers with special needs and equipment
November 2, 2012

Pupil transportation officials must have access to medical information on the students they are transporting, especially when the students are dependent on medical equipment and others for their care. They must also have a well-developed evacuation plan for all students that they transport.

Officials at pupil transportation cooperatives say that the facility should be large enough to accommodate the maintenance needs of all member districts. Pictured is Centralia/Chehalis Pupil Transportation Cooperative’s facility in Centralia, Wash.
Co-ops yield cost savings, boost efficiency for districts
October 29, 2012

Officials from transportation cooperatives around the country also say that they can lead to consistency in employee training and hiring, and managing and scheduling bus routes for districts. Officials discuss factors to consider when forming a cooperative, as well as potential challenges and ways to resolve them.

Photo of John Clements of Kings Canyon USD, shot by Shinn Photography
50 top traits of great transportation directors
October 19, 2012

What are the essential qualities for success for a school transportation leader? Here, more than 50 directors and managers explain vital traits for the job, from communication and problem-solving skills to a willingness to get down in the trenches.

Jack Kenner © Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau
Associations prep impressive agendas for Memphis
October 18, 2012

At this year’s NASDPTS and NAPT conferences, speakers are scheduled to discuss such topics as advanced school bus design, performance-based management and transportation safety trends. NAPT workshops will cover social media and other interesting issues, and the association’s conference will feature a revamped awards banquet and a two-day trade show.

Max Christensen says he would like to try to bring the NASDPTS and NAPT conferences to Omaha, Neb.
Max Christensen aims to maintain association alliances
October 16, 2012

At this year’s conference in Memphis, Tenn., Max Christensen will become president of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services. He plans to keep the association focused on changes in technology, build upon its relationship with other industry groups and work on growing its ties to federal-level agencies.

Illegal bus passing: Knowing is half the battle
October 12, 2012

If drivers know in advance that they should be looking out for those stopped buses, and if they’ve been educated on the danger that illegal passing poses for students, they should be more prepared and more convinced of the need to stop. 

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