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Photo courtesy Firetrace
Fire Suppression Systems Increase Automation, Early Detection
September 2, 2015

Advances in fire suppression technology can help identify and stop an impending bus fire before flames even come into play. The systems can also provide more time for passenger evacuation during a thermal event.

Riley Williams was honored posthumously as SBF’s 2015 Contractor of the Year. Carol Williams (middle left), Riley’s wife, and Chloe Williams, their daughter, accepted the award on his behalf. At left is outgoing NSTA President Tim Flood. At right is SBF General Manager James Blue. Photo courtesy NSTA
In the Office or at the Wheel, Contractor of the Year Led by Example
August 31, 2015

New Jersey’s Riley Williams demonstrated a passion for safely transporting students and for giving back to the community. He connected with his drivers by driving alongside them.

Clearing Communication Hurdles with Parents
August 27, 2015

Barriers to clear communication, such as parents being less available, overwhelmed with information and not understanding the rules, can be overcome by meeting in person whenever possible, laying out specific rules and consequences, and providing access to real-time arrival information.

Beyond the Bus: Supporting Safe Ways to School for All Students
July 24, 2015

Transportation departments can adopt new approaches to help reduce traffic around schools and to ensure the safety of students who don’t qualify for yellow bus service.

The School District of Escambia County (Fla.) has seen a decline in the number of minor school bus driver at-fault accidents due to training drivers to use a more proactive driving approach. Shown here is Robert Doss, director of transportation for the district.
6 Ways to Instill Safety Culture Among Drivers
July 22, 2015

Making sure drivers commit to preventive behaviors and that they understand how to eliminate risk are key. Discussing near-miss incidents as a group has also proved to be effective.

Bitimec’s 626-EZ saves more water by applying soap through misting circuits, which also use less soap. The system is shown here washing a school bus at Brunswick County Schools in Bolivia, North Carolina.
6 Tips for Saving Water With Bus Wash Systems
June 24, 2015

Measures to cut water use while maintaining a clean fleet include brush systems, nozzle upkeep, and using foams and soap alternatives such as vehicle wash agents, suppliers say.

Kickert’s first “school bus” was a horse-drawn wagon fitted with board seats, as seen here in a parade in May.
Kickert School Bus Hits 100-Year Milestone
June 12, 2015

Throughout its history, the Illinois-based contractor has been at the forefront of using alternative fuels for its vehicles — beginning with a horse and wagon powered by oats and hay.

Tags: Illinois
FerrellAutogas worked with a Wisconsin school district on a propane fueling station thatincludes a 30,000-gallon tank with three single-hose dispensers.
Alt-fueling Equipment Offers Myriad Options for Fleet Needs
May 27, 2015

For operations that run propane or CNG school buses, suppliers can provide customized solutions for efficient and reliable fueling.

Bob Young (right), director of transportation at Boulder (Colo.) Valley School District, talks with other SBX attendees during a roundtable on operational efficiency.
School Bus eXchange Drills Down on Keys for Success
May 21, 2015

At the inaugural SBX event, school transportation officials share ideas on such topics as efficiency, technology and identifying the outputs of a successful operation.

Photo courtesy NHTSA
The Case for Audio Monitoring on School Buses
April 24, 2015

Audio monitoring can help deter and resolve verbal conflicts, bullying accusations and general bad behavior. But privacy concerns must be addressed.

New Thomas Built CEO Discusses New CNG Bus, Plant Expansion
April 22, 2015

Caley Edgerly takes the helm as the school bus OEM launches another alternative-fuel option and works to increase plant production by 25%.

Photo by Christopher Smith
6 Key Things I Hope I've Taught You
April 17, 2015

As her career draws to a close, legal expert Peggy Burns reflects on the essential guidance she has given to pupil transporters over the past 20 years.

Secured Mobility's SMART tag enables drivers to quickly view on a tablet student information, including a photo, assigned seat and stop, and medical needs.
Growing GPS, Student Tracking Capabilities Offer More Security Tools
April 15, 2015

Suppliers are providing more immediate and detailed information for parents and transportation managers through apps and video; customizable alerts and
vehicle parameters; planning versus actual views; and tablets on board buses.   

Two years ago, Suffolk Transportation completed the FTA’s Homeland Security Assessment and made several upgrades, the biggest of which was bringing its entire fleet into its yards each night, ending vehicle park outs.
Contractors Turn to Partnerships, Tracking to Bolster Security
April 13, 2015

Partnering with law enforcement, taking advantage of federal security assessments and student tracking are some of the measures contractors are taking to ensure a safer school bus ride.

Photo by John Horton
8 Ways to Optimize the Use of School Bus Video Surveillance
April 7, 2015

To make sure you’re getting the best use of the surveillance systems on your buses, consider these eight practices that can help improve student behavior, identify training needs and support your drivers.

5 New Products to Boost Shop Efficiency
March 25, 2015

Offerings are designed to organize and expedite maintenance work and keep the shop floor clean.

How to Pinpoint and Prevent Common Brake Problems
March 20, 2015

Brake experts give guidance on conducting thorough inspections, servicing the brake systems and teaching school bus drivers what to watch out for.

Tags: brakes, parts
Spring ISD reorganized its two-story parts room last year and now groups fast-moving parts in one area for quicker access.
5 Tips to Streamline Parts Inventory Management
March 18, 2015

Managers say setting up a barcoding and scanning system, fleet standardization and daily tracking of pricing have been indispensable practices. Additionally, good housekeeping and strategic organizing expedite jobs.

BusBoss now features the customizable SmartRoute Dashboard™, which alerts directors to different factors while planning daily bus routes, such as students not assigned to stops or routes.
School Bus Software Offering More Accessibility, One-Stop Shop Options
February 27, 2015

Choices abound for routing and fleet maintenance software packages that are available on any web-connected device, eliminate the need to spend time importing and exporting data to one central location, and automatically track a variety of information in real time.

IC Bus Exec Trish Reed Talks Propane, School Bus Sales
February 25, 2015

Reed discusses the benefits of IC Bus’ new propane school bus, which the manufacturer sees tying in to projected growth in alternative fuels.

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