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Thomas McMahon is executive editor of SCHOOL BUS FLEET.
School bus drivers are in the public eye
July 28, 2014
The way school bus drivers greet their passengers, handle disciplinary issues or respond to a student who’s struggling can have a lasting impact on the youngsters on their bus. Also, because of the sensitive nature of their profession, school bus drivers are susceptible to ending up in the media spotlight.
Interviews: Getting at what’s not on the resume
July 21, 2014
As I work on a story on best practices for conducting interviews, some sources have stressed to me how important it is to screen for critical qualities that you can’t train on, such as a positive attitude and an assertive personality.
Thomas McMahon is executive editor of SCHOOL BUS FLEET.
School bus means many things to many people
July 16, 2014
Beyond its vital role in education, the school bus has provided a home on wheels for many who have sought to simplify their lives or to travel the country. The yellow bus also represents an important economic opportunity for hundreds of thousands of people, including an African refugee who came to the U.S.
Bobit Business Media founder Ed Bobit (left) was inducted into the National Association for Pupil Transportation Hall of Fame in 1999. Also inducted that year was Buster Bynum, former pupil transportation director in Virginia.
How Ed Bobit impacted pupil transportation
July 3, 2014
Beyond his contributions in trade magazine publishing, including SCHOOL BUS FLEET, what you may not know about Ed Bobit is the crucial role he played in the survival of the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) in its early years. As NAPT Executive Director Mike Martin puts it, "There would be no NAPT without Ed Bobit. Period."
One of the winning photos from SBF's 2013 Photo Contest, taken by Scott Goble, director of transportation, Canandaigua (N.Y.) City School District.
Capturing a snapshot of your industry
June 20, 2014
Sometimes the best way to tell a story is through visuals, and our readers have provided us with many compelling ones. Whether photos or videos, we are looking to you to continue to help us get the most accurate view of your day-to-day experiences.
This photo shows the aftermath of a South Carolina incident in which a teenage girl was struck by a vehicle passing her bus. The girl's shoes lie in the road; her backpack is on top of the bus.
Stop-arm incident photo is worth 1,000 words
June 16, 2014
One interesting detail in the journey of a South Carolina stop-arm camera measure through the legislative process is the role that a photo played. Bill sponsor Sen. Thomas Alexander showed the shocking picture to other legislators to help galvanize support for the bill.
Thomas McMahon is executive editor of SCHOOL BUS FLEET.
The trouble with cutting bus service
May 19, 2014
Previously, I discussed the notion that districts have a responsibility to be “in the transportation business,” which some disagree with. Here, I want to draw attention to issues that arise when districts decide to cut school bus service. As shown in the Etiwanda (Calif.) School District example, increased traffic around schools is one of the key problems. ...
Kelly Aguinaldo is managing editor for SCHOOL BUS FLEET.
Cars backing up after running a stop-arm?
May 9, 2014
We are well aware of the problem of motorists illegally passing school buses that are stopped for students who are boarding or disembarking. Another problem that we hadn’t heard of is drivers passing a stopped bus, realizing what they’d done and then backing up their car to where they should have stopped. A school bus driver contacted us about this issue ...
Thomas McMahon is executive editor of SCHOOL BUS FLEET.
Districts are in the transportation business
April 25, 2014
A school board member at a Virginia district told the Washington Post, “We are not in the transportation business. We are in the education business.” That statement seems misguided and even unsettling. Yes, school districts’ primary responsibility is to educate children. But that doesn’t mean it’s their only responsibility. …
Kelly Aguinaldo is managing editor for SCHOOL BUS FLEET. Here, Shane Kirley shares with her his top professional accomplishments.
Take stock in your accomplishments
April 18, 2014
We’ve all had personal and professional accomplishments that we’re particularly proud of. One of my top professional accomplishments is learning and writing about the ins and outs of an industry that I knew very little about when I started working for this publication. For Shane Kirley, whom we've reported on in the past, obtaining his CDL was one of his “best accomplishments.”
Frank Di Giacomo is publisher of SCHOOL BUS FLEET and vice president, bus and rail, at Bobit Business Media.
Compartmentalization plus
April 1, 2014
Rather than resting on the fact that the yellow bus is the long-established safest form of school transportation, we need to be constantly asking ourselves this question: Could school buses be safer? When we ask that question, we have to consider lap-shoulder belts, which has long been a contentious issue in the industry. ...
How do you communicate with your team?
March 17, 2014
When I have spoken with pupil transportation professionals, they have relayed to me the importance of communicating with their staff on all aspects of the operation that affect their jobs in order to safely transport students to and from school. Michael Shields of Salem-Keizer Public Schools in Salem, Ore., has frequent meetings with his staff ...
After a car crashed into his bus, John Horton noted some interesting reactions from his young passengers. Photo by Franktown Fire Protection District
How kids react to a school bus crash
March 7, 2014
After a car crashed into his bus, John Horton noted some interesting reactions from his young passengers. For example, a second-grader asked, “Why was there no explosion?” The next morning, as Horton and his passengers were approaching the intersection where the accident occurred …
Kids know good drivers
February 20, 2014
Do kids know what it takes to be a school bus driver? Surely most children aren’t aware of all the specific requirements: the training, the background checks, the testing, etc. But they do seem to understand that being a school bus driver is a tough job that …
School bus memorabilia: What’s in your collection?
February 6, 2014
An aspect of our readers’ enthusiasm for school buses that I find interesting is that many have extensive collections of school bus-related memorabilia. A particularly impressive collection belongs to ...
What’s your favorite school bus?
January 24, 2014
One thing I learned quickly when I joined SBF seven years ago is that not only are our readers passionate about transporting students safely, many of them are passionate about school buses in general.
School bus contractors target top issues for 2014
January 10, 2014
As contractors gather for NSTA's Midwinter Meeting, they will discuss a plethora of pressing issues. We asked several executives what they see as the top issues for the new year. NSTA President Tim Flood points to the challenges of a regulatory environment that he says could hinder the efficiency of contractors’ operations and increase driver shortages. ...
Top 5 most commented-on posts of 2013
December 30, 2013
As 2013 draws to a close, here's a recap of five blog posts this year that drew the most engagement from our followers.
This display on a retired North Carolina school bus shows the progression of school bus seats over the past 60 years.
Innovative display shows 60 years of school bus seats
December 12, 2013
Those who work in pupil transportation know that the yellow school bus has changed immensely in the past half century, and that includes the seats. To educate the public on how much school bus seats have changed and safety has increased, a group of pupil transportation people in North Carolina put together a fascinating exhibit. ...
School buses: life after shuttling students
November 25, 2013
On my drive home, a vehicle that’s caught my eye on numerous occasions is a Crown school bus that I’m fairly certain is someone’s personal vehicle: emblazoned on the sides and back of the bus are the words “COOL BUS.” Have you come across any retired school buses that are now used for a new purpose?

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