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The face-to-face conversations at industry events are invaluable. At Southeastern States, I caught up with Arkansas state director Mike Simmons (center) and former Alabama state director Joe Lightsey (right), among many others. Photo by Jaime Gallego
Getting personal at pupil transportation conferences
August 31, 2015
Connecting with a group of school bus contractors from Massachusetts, catching up with my former school bus driver in Oregon and getting great feedback from readers in the South were just a few of the benefits I've experienced by attending industry events this year.
Michael Taylor is the director of autogas business development for the Propane Education & Research Council.
Q&A: Factors to consider before switching to propane
August 24, 2015
School transportation providers should not only review upfront costs associated with new bus acquisitions, infrastructure and fuel costs, but also true total cost of ownership, maintenance requirements and impact on the community.
Thomas McMahon is executive editor of School Bus Fleet.
Separating boys and girls on the school bus
August 19, 2015
In Atlanta, some older boys and girls have been separated on the school bus to improve behavior. District officials tell me that their drivers are given autonomy to decide how to seat their passengers. ...
Thomas McMahon is executive editor of School Bus Fleet.
How will anti-collision technology impact school buses?
August 10, 2015
I sat in the passenger seat of a large truck, eyes fixed on the stopped car ahead as we rumbled straight toward it. Next to me, the driver of the truck gave no indication that he was going to stop the vehicle. …
Making sure parents know and understand the rules for boarding and riding the school bus can be a challenge. Photo by Spring Independent School District
Helping parents understand the world of the school bus
July 27, 2015
There is substantial emphasis on making sure students know the rules for boarding and riding the bus, and rightly so, but what about for parents?
In the fatal 2014 truck-motorcoach collision in Orland, California, NTSB found that there were difficulties in evacuating from the flame-engulfed motorcoach. Photo by NTSB
Motorcoach crash recalls lessons of Carrollton bus fire
July 21, 2015
In the fatal 2014 truck-motorcoach collision in California, NTSB found that there were difficulties in evacuating from the flame-engulfed motorcoach. That and other details are similar to the 1988 Carrollton bus disaster.
When students cross the street in front of the school bus, they should make sure that they are within the driver's sight.
6 ways to get students on board with school bus safety
July 8, 2015
The best way to keep students alert and safe on school bus rides is to encourage active participation in bus safety. Here are tips to better engage children and prevent injuries.
At the Oregon Pupil Transportation Association event, I saw firsthand how vital these summer conferences are for the success of our industry.
When school’s out for summer, it’s time to learn
June 26, 2015
Soon after the school year ends, many pupil transporters take a “busman’s holiday”: They attend an industry conference. So while most students have set aside their books for the summer, school transportation professionals take some time to focus on learning. I saw this firsthand …
According to a NHTSA survey, at any daylight moment in the U.S., about 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving.
A tragic reminder about texting and driving
June 5, 2015
A killer. That’s essentially what texting can become when it coincides with driving. That point was tragically reinforced by a fatal school bus crash in Knoxville, Tennessee, according to the police investigation.
Don West considers placing cameras in bus bumpers and mounting LCD screens to the window posts and eliminating cat-eye mirrors to give the driver a forward view, instead of looking at a curved reverse view mirror. 
Could cameras replace mirrors on school buses?
May 13, 2015
While doing blind spot training with a driver, Donald West came up with the idea of removing mirrors and replacing them with cameras and LCD screens to potentially see the entire danger zone of a school bus.
Thomas McMahon is executive editor of School Bus Fleet.
School buses play a key position in athletics
April 24, 2015
With running having become a lifelong pursuit for me, I recently found myself once again riding a school bus to an important race, just like in high school. On April 20, I ran in the Boston Marathon for the first time. ...
Bus driver Victoria DeCarlo created a driving course and used a dummy to re-enact how a student dragging may occur. She found that drivers experience visual challenges involving the stairwell, mirrors and door activation button placement. Photo by Victoria DeCarlo
Preventing dragging incidents: A school bus driver’s perspective
April 13, 2015
In response to a handful of tragic incidents in which students were dragged by their buses, I staged a re-enactment to find out how we can prevent these incidents. Findings showed drivers experience visual challenges involving the stairwell, mirrors and door activation button placement.
At SBX, school bus operators were given scheduled times to meet with suppliers. Here, Wanda Paul of Dallas Independent School District talks with Zonar’s Craig Kahoun (left) and Toby McGraw.
Making vital connections at School Bus eXchange
April 13, 2015
In the end, it was about breaking down barriers and building connections. With SBX attendees hailing from all over the nation, we heard that many are facing the same challenges: replacing aging buses, dealing with driver shortage, etc. And that’s why an event like this is so valuable. ...
Thomas McMahon is executive editor of School Bus Fleet.
Time to prove my trust in the bus
March 23, 2015
My personal support for the school bus has essentially been “on paper” — until now. With my son about to start riding the school bus, I realized this: It’s time to put my money where my mouth is. Or, more precisely, it’s time to prove my trust in the yellow bus.
These Round Rock (Texas) Independent School District school bus drivers and Transportation Director Fritz Klabunde, shown left, braved icy weather conditions to pick up students and staff who were stranded on a weekend in the Dallas-Fort Worth area by the weather.
Stories of school bus drivers going the extra mile
March 13, 2015
"School bus drivers behaving badly" stories abound, but do not represent the majority, who constantly go above and beyond, both on and off their routes. Some recent stories show that instead.
Officials announced Westfield Washington Schools' seat belt pilot program at IMMI’s Center for Advanced Product Evaluation on Friday.
District’s school bus seat belt project is a proactive step
March 10, 2015
Westfield (Ind.) Washington Schools will test out lap-shoulder belts on six of its buses. Several aspects of the program are interesting, such as that it's not in reaction to a crash or a mandate from lawmakers.
Legislators have recently proposed bills that would require school buses to pick up and drop off students on the side of the road that they live on.
Home-side stops should be goal, not mandate
February 23, 2015
Legislators have recently proposed bills that would require school buses to pick up and drop off students on the side of the road that they live on. That may sound good on paper, but in practice it would drive up transportation costs and bus ride times.
Proposed driver health funding cuts under fire
February 6, 2015
The Georgia governor’s proposed plan to cut health benefits for part-time school bus drivers fired up many of our readers, and they let us know. Some state legislators aren’t on board, either.
Tags: Georgia
Frank Di Giacomo is vice president/publisher emeritus of School Bus Fleet.
Bold new things in store for the new year
January 23, 2015
From the new event that we're launching with NAPT, School Bus eXchange, to a couple of key changes on the School Bus Fleet team, exciting things are happening here. One new development at SBF is that, after nearly 34 years with the magazine, I’m ...
6 key reasons that school bus drivers quit
January 9, 2015
Here, a veteran school bus driver presents a list of common concerns among his colleagues, from uncompetitive pay to a lack of support from upper management.
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