Subscribe Today

Displaying 181  -  199  of  199
Detox suggestions for a poisoned well
September 4, 2007
A while back I posted a note titled "Are You My Friend or My Boss?" and received many thoughtful comments about the critical importance of a manager developing a good relationship with his or her staff. This is not an easy task, I know. It requires give and take from both parties for the larger good of the organization.The reason I bring this up again is that I received an e-mail from a frustrated transportation supervisor who is trying to build a healthier workplace, but has had no success...
Upwardly mobile or stuck in neutral?
August 28, 2007
I just received good news from a friend in the industry who is very close to moving from a job as a school bus driver for a school district to a management trainee for a contractor. She has her sights set on becoming a transportation director one day, and I believe she's going to do it.Not every bus driver, however, aspires to become a manager. Some are quite happy where they're at, and there's certainly nothing wrong with that. But I wonder if we're doing enough as an industry to develop...
Getting away from it all-most
August 22, 2007
I'm late by a day with my weekly blog update, but you'll have to cut me some slack because I was on a badly needed vacation. I took the family to Catalina Island, about 20 miles off the coast of Southern California. I think it's important to take off from work every now and then. We've gotten to a point where we're consumed by our jobs, especially with the advent of cell phones and e-mail. As we rode the ferry boat from Long Beach to Catalina, I watched as one fellow passenger spent most of...
A pain in the bottom
August 14, 2007
Like many of you, I’m trying to improve my knowledge, skills and performance by taking night classes. Each Wednesday evening, I settle in for a 3 ½-hour class in a meeting room at a local hotel. The subject matter is interesting. The instructor is excellent. But no matter how distracted I am by the proceedings, my chair starts to feel hard by about the third hour.
The school bus and the bridge
August 7, 2007
I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the bridge collapse in Minneapolis. It's now considered the worst disaster in Minnesota history, and the horrifying images certainly will endure in my memory for years to come. As you might expect, a lot of attention was placed on the school bus that was on the bridge during the collapse. I don't know if it qualifies as a miracle that none of the passengers was killed, but it's pretty close. The vehicle, which was carrying 62 people, is estimated to...
A short, unpleasant ride
July 31, 2007
I traveled recently to attend an industry conference. My flight was delayed for four hours, which didn't put me in a particularly good mood when I arrived at the destination airport. Things got worse, however, when I tried to get a cab ride to my hotel. There were two taxis waiting at the cab line. By this time it was almost midnight, and there were no other customers in sight. I thought they'd be glad to see some business headed their way.
Are you my friend or my boss?
July 23, 2007
Everyone wants to be loved. It's a survival instinct. The more people who love you, and the fewer who hate you, the better the chance that you'll live a long life uninterrupted by attacks on your character and person.But leaders, such as transportation directors and other managers, aren't in their positions to be loved. They're in their positions to get a job done as efficiently and safely as possible. If they happen to be liked, or loved, by their employees, that's a bonus, but it's not...
Is workforce diversity an issue?
July 17, 2007
I read an interesting article in the Houston Chronicle about the difficulty the local transit agency has had in recruiting Hispanic employees. The agency's efforts to bring more Hispanics into its ranks included advertising in the newspaper and on the radio, as well as Spanish-language TV. It also attended job fairs and held its own job fairs. To no avail. In trying to fill 250 spots for bus drivers, it hired 10 Hispanics.
Chemistry in the bus yard?
July 10, 2007
Why do we stay at one job longer than others? I've been here at School Bus Fleet Magazine for almost 13 years. The longest I stayed at any previous job was five years or so. Early in my career, I left some jobs after only a year.
Do you know where your children are?
July 3, 2007
A recent article in the Baltimore Sun discusses the use of GPS technology to allow parents to track the whereabouts of their children. The reporter engaged the issue by interviewing a mother who bought her 7-year-old daughter a cell phone equipped with a GPS tracking device after the girl was put on the wrong school bus by a substitute teacher.
Dealing with the P word
June 26, 2007
If you're like me, you're constantly putting out fires. Most of them are small and don't require much thought or enterprise. But they sure add up! Over the course of a day, I attend to dozens of things that were not on my to-do list. Some of them could have been postponed, but they were easy to resolve and gave me a small sense of accomplishment.
If it bleeds, it leads
June 19, 2007
Ever wonder why school bus crashes, even minor ones, tend to receive wide, out-of-proportion coverage in the local news? And the regional and national news, as well, depending on the casualty count? It's pretty simple, really. Stories about endangered children, especially if accompanied by photos or video footage, pique a community's interest. Local residents might have a friend or relative who attends the involved school. Plus, traffic accidents have high curiosity value, which may explain...
Time to fasten your belts?
June 11, 2007
The two most populous states in the nation — California and Texas — now have laws on the books requiring school buses to be equipped with lap-shoulder seat belts for passengers. Texas joined California last week when its governor, Rick Perry, signed a bill requiring all new school buses bought after Sept. 1, 2010, to have three-point belt systems.
Taking the bus again
June 6, 2007
I've started taking the bus again. No, not to school. That was many decades ago. Now, I'm riding the local transit bus to the office about once a week. But I'm finding many similarities to my school bus ride from so long ago.
Can you hear me now?
May 30, 2007
I read an interesting thread in our Forum about whether bus drivers should be allowed to yell at their passengers. Most of the respondents believe it's OK, and often necessary, to yell at students. Others said department policies prohibited them from doing so. As the father of two boys, ages 6 and 8, I can assure you that I occasionally have to, uh, speak loudly to get their attention. They get so involved in what they're doing that they don't otherwise hear me. It's only rarely that I yell...
Where there's a wheel, there's a way
May 23, 2007
I want to share an inspiring story sent to me by Jerry Cataldo, shop foreman at Trussville City Schools in Alabama. At 4 a.m. on Friday, May 11, a custodian noticed that the tires of 28 of the system's 44 buses had been flattened. All 168 tires of the buses parked at Hewitt Trussville High School and Hewitt Trussville Middle School were either going flat or completely flat and broken loose from their rims.
Talking out of turn
May 21, 2007
I saw a news report on a local TV station over the weekend about L.A. school bus drivers caught using their cell phones while transporting students. The report had a "gotcha" quality to it, with the reporter confronting the drivers as they got off the bus. This wasn't the worst piece of TV journalism that I've seen, but it did make a point -- bus drivers are violating California law by using cell phones while driving a school bus.
Yes, in my backyard
May 18, 2007
You've heard of NIMBY, right? If not, it means "not in my backyard" and generally refers to neighborhoods that don't want certain types of local development, e.g., liquor stores, prisons (!), rail lines, etc.Well, I've got a NIMBY situation. Just two blocks from where I live, a former elementary school that has been used for adult education classes is going to be re-activated this fall as a middle school. The kids who will be attending this school were displaced because their existing facil...
First time for everything
May 16, 2007
I’ve never blogged before, as will soon become apparent. But those of you who are familiar with my articles and columns in SCHOOL BUS FLEET already know that I’ve been a part of the pupil transportation community for many years. So I feel amply qualified to publish my thoughts here, even if the medium is a bit different from ink and paper.

Premium Member

Get bus sales numbers, transportation statistics, bus specifications, industry survey results, bus loading and unloading fatality statistics and more in the School Bus Fleet Research Center. Become a premium member today!
Log in Button Register Button


Get breaking news, industry updates, product announcements and more.