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How to Cut Costs by Mastering Time and Space, Part 2: Zero with an Asterisk
September 11, 2014

Learn how a paratransit service absorbed 16% more passengers with no added cost. The example can be applied to pupil transportation: Optimizing the spatial and temporal relationships of one’s service area can yield big cost savings.
Second in a series of occasional articles

Pre-screening, taking a conversational tone, and picking the right interview team members help find the right fit. iStock image.
Beyond the Resume: 6 Tips for Conducting Effective Interviews
September 9, 2014

Since a resume may not provide vital information, such as whether an applicant is assertive, has a positive attitude and enjoys working with children, interviewing is a critical component of the hiring process. Pre-screening, taking a conversational tone, and picking the right interview team members help find the right fit.

For Gallagher, Commitment to Customer Fuels Great Growth
August 29, 2014

In 17 years, Student Transportation Inc. leader Denis Gallagher has built his company into the third-largest school bus contracting firm in North America. Along the way, he has embraced alternative fuels and new technologies, focused on recruiting good people, and maintained a 95% contract renewal rate.

A Micro Bird propane autogas school bus drops off students in Florida. School bus operations have been reporting significant fuel and maintenance savings with propane.
State Funding, Fuel Savings Drive Propane Bus Adoption in Florida
August 29, 2014

With reduced operating costs and a rebate program for propane autogas vehicles, Florida school districts are tapping the alternative fuel as an economical and environmental solution. Broward County recently added 98 propane school buses to its fleet.

Post-accident procedure committees and team members typically take pictures of the scene, review related reports and create a plan to prevent future similar incidents.
Post-accident Procedures Committees Key in Prevention
August 13, 2014

Whether using a committee or more informal arrangement, selecting the right members, having procedures in place in advance for determining preventable measures and driver retraining are crucial.  

15 Tips to Boost Efficiency
August 7, 2014

From the bus routes to the shop to the transportation office, there are numerous opportunities to enhance efficiency. Here, directors share innovative ways to run a more cost-effective operation.

istock image © snipes213
Mirrors: Enhancing Safety From All Angles
July 7, 2014

Companies that manufacture rearview mirrors and other products equipped with mirrors are aware of a school bus driver’s need to clearly see multiple areas when transporting students. Today’s offerings feature technology and are designed to improve the driver’s view inside the bus, around the back of the bus, and the driver’s view of the danger zone.

Tags: mirrors
McKinney Sees Longer Bus Life, Diesel Dedication
June 30, 2014

IC Bus President John McKinney says that school buses now have an average life cycle of nearly 15 years, which means that product durability and customer support are especially critical. He also points to diesel as the “backbone of the industry” and discusses the decision to offer the Cummins ISB engine.

Blue Bird rallies in Fort Valley, ramps up business
May 30, 2014

Four years after consolidating large bus assembly at its central Georgia headquarters, Blue Bird has boosted efficiency and production capacity, and business is on the upswing. The company’s total sales have increased about 40% from 2012 to 2014, and its propane school bus sales have multiplied.

CDTi’s Purifilter™ EGR diesel particulate filter, an update to the technology on its Purifilter™ model, can now operate at even lower temperatures.
Emission-control technology offers low-maintenance solutions
May 29, 2014

Diesel particulate filters, mufflers and engine pre-heaters help school bus operators keep the air in and around their vehicles clean with minimal maintenance required. Technology upgrades now allow for optimal operation and pre-programmable engine pre-heating in even lower temperatures.

Tags: emissions, EPA
Chesapeake (Va.) Public Schools' buses are equipped with AngelTrax's HC460 four-channel DVR system and three cameras.
Protect your operation with video surveillance
April 22, 2014

False claims made against school bus drivers or other transportation staff have the potential to damage reputations and cause legal problems if a district or bus company is unable to prove what occurred during the incident in question. Equipping buses with cameras and DVRs can offer protection by providing undisputable evidence in these situations and others, such as accidents. Here's a roundup of the technology utilized by operations around the country.

iStock image © TrentVino
How to manage conflict and deal with angry people
April 17, 2014

Employees can express anger and frustration when they feel that their basic needs, such as feeling appreciated and valued, are not being met. Managers and others in leadership roles must listen to gain an understanding of the problem, learn the points of view of those involved and work together with the employees toward a solution.

At First Student, well maintained and safely operated buses lead to a long service life, and Senior Vice President of Commercial Development Roger Moore says maintaining a safe operation also enables the company to retain the best employees.
Contractors see safety as an investment
April 10, 2014

Executives for some of North America's largest school bus companies discuss how allocating resources toward such efforts as driver training and preventive maintenance can benefit the operation by improving safety and employee morale, which, in turn, enhances profitability.

Photo credit: iStock Getty Images
Is a shared transportation director good for your operation?
March 27, 2014

Many factors must be taken into account when considering whether to have one director oversee yellow bus service at two school districts, including the operations’ proximity to one another, the condition of the fleets and the relations among department employees. Patience and support for the shared director are essential to long-term success.

6 new products to streamline the school bus shop
March 18, 2014

Offerings help make cleaning and refurbishment easier, boost fuel efficiency, and organize jobs and tasks.

Mohawk Lifts’ TR 25 drive-on lift offers 6 feet of unrestricted under-vehicle access, leaving plenty of space available for technicians to complete brake jobs and other maintenance.
Vehicle lifts that promote shop safety, productivity
March 11, 2014

Features such as mechanical locks, remote control, LED lighting and lighter weights for more portability make servicing buses even safer and more efficient.

Pictured is the DEF fill point on a Thomas Built Saf-T-Liner HDX school bus.Photo courtesy of Thomas Built Buses
Web exclusive: Getting the most out of DEF
March 6, 2014

Understanding some basic facts about diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), such as its freezing point, the importance of using high-quality DEF and keeping it clean, and proper storage procedures, will go a long way in its efficiency in a selective catalytic reduction system.

Tags: emissions, EPA
Pete Meslin (in the blue shirt and wearing a tie), director of transportation at California’s Newport-Mesa Unified School District, is pictured with current and former school board members and transportation department personnel at a bus driver appreciation event.
5 ways to gain support from school boards
March 4, 2014

With funding for pupil transportation tight, those providing the service must show board members its value. District and bus company officials share tips that can help in getting this group of individuals to become advocates for the yellow bus, from making yourself visible and available to sharing positive stories about your operation.

Web exclusive: More on gaining support from school boards
March 4, 2014

In our March 2014 issue, officials at school districts and bus companies offer tips that can help in getting school board members to become advocates for the yellow bus. Here are a few more tips, as well as insight on efforts at operations that have been successful in establishing positive relations with school board members on specific issues.

Photo by Katrina Falk
How to cut costs by mastering time and space, part 1
February 28, 2014

Manipulating time and space to optimize system design sets a foundation for efficiency in special-education transportation. Here is an introduction to the concept — and three examples in which its application could have saved countless dollars.

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