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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. 

Thoughts on transit replacing yellow buses
October 12, 2012

I understand the concerns, and while I don’t have a solution, perhaps furthering the discussion on the issue is one step in the right direction.

How to be a great leader
October 11, 2012

Leaders are continuously looking for ways to improve, and they are always willing to help. In order to be a great leader, one should always remember the three Rs: respect for self, respect for others and responsibility for all of one’s own actions.

247Security’s Zeus DVR operates with 50% less power consumption compared to other systems, making for a cooler and stable system.
Bus video goes beyond student monitoring
October 9, 2012

Today’s surveillance systems not only record students on multiple channels, many record risky driving behavior, issue alerts for specific events and track buses through GPS. Here are details on these and other specifications from eight companies’ offerings.

NAPT Summit: network and find answers to challenges
October 4, 2012

The Summit will be chock full of workshops and speakers who understand the challenges you face, and it will offer ideas to make you better at what you do. If you’re facing a problem in your district, chances are someone else has already been in your shoes and can lend a helpful perspective.

Kerlin Bus Sales and Leasing founder Ed Kerlin (third from left) has retired, but his family continues to run the company. From left: President Clifford Zehr, who is Kerlin’s son-in-law, Zehr’s wife, Cindy, who is chief financial officer, and Melanie Zehr, who handles marketing and is Clifford and Cindy’s daughter.
Kerlin shows commitment to training, customers
October 2, 2012

As Indiana’s Kerlin Bus Sales and Leasing celebrates 50 years as a Thomas Built Buses dealer, the family-run company focuses on providing instruction for bus drivers and technicians so they are well-versed in the industry’s latest technology. Kerlin also has a rigorous system to ensure customers’ needs are met and their orders are properly filled.

Kelley Platt became president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses in 2010.
Thomas Built CEO sees permanent shifts in school bus market
September 27, 2012

Kelley Platt, the company's president and CEO, says that transportation changes many districts are making — from running buses longer to increasing walking distances — have reduced the need for new buses and aren’t likely to be reversed. In turn, the OEM is focused on becoming more cost-effective in its manufacturing while maintaining quality. Platt discusses the market shifts, cost of ownership and product developments with SBF.

In Delaware, school bus driver seat belts are spec’d in fluorescent green or orange, making it easier to monitor belt use.
State directors: Why we do it this way
September 25, 2012

State pupil transportation directors discuss their states’ school bus specs and procedures that stand out, from fluorescent driver seat belts to buffer zones at the back of the bus.

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