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Unusual situations in pupil transportation
January 25, 2013
We’ve all had moments where we’ve seen or read something that makes us laugh out loud or think, “What the heck?!” I read recently about an unusual occurrence involving a pupil transportation operation in Washington state.
Bus drivers vs. bad stereotypes
January 11, 2013
Are school bus drivers painted in a bad light in the media? In TV shows, movies, books and the news, is there a tendency to emphasize the more unpleasant traits that some school bus drivers might portray on occasion? Those questions came to mind ...
Top News: The Year in Review
December 14, 2012
In 2012, bullying was again in the limelight as video of a school bus monitor being harassed went viral. Also, the U.S. pupil transportation community made connections abroad to help other countries safely transport their students.
How have service animals impacted your operation?
November 16, 2012
Around Veterans' Day, I came across a lot of touching stories online about how service dogs are helping veterans. It got me thinking about how these animals assist students with disabilities, and their impact on a district’s or bus company’s school bus service.
Did 'Idiot' Sign Sentence Go Too Far — Or Not Far Enough?
November 14, 2012
I have to admit: I was almost feeling bad for Shena Hardin, the woman who drove her SUV on a sidewalk to get by a stopped school bus. Not because she didn't deserve to be punished for her outrageously reckless driving — she certainly did. But it seemed to me that the highly publicized component of her sentence — standing at the scene of the crime with an "idiot" sign — was a case of a judge getting carried away. ...
Insight on pupil transportation cooperatives
October 29, 2012
In our November 2012 issue, I wrote a feature on pupil transportation cooperatives, where the people I interviewed had a lot of interesting things to say about cooperatives. Here, I’ll share with you information that didn’t make it into the feature.
Taking on the top challenges of the job
October 19, 2012
For our new “50 Top Traits of Great Transportation Directors” feature, we asked transportation directors to choose the traits they’ve found to be most important in their line of work. This brings to mind a related question: What are the top challenges they face in the job? We asked directors about that, too. ...
Thoughts on transit replacing yellow buses
October 12, 2012
In recent months, we at SBF have come across news of school districts implementing a transit bus service program for some of their students. The reasons vary, but it has usually been due to cuts in school bus service or in an effort to save money. Industry officials share their views on the issue.
District teaches bus safety through music
October 5, 2012
Westerville (Ohio) City School District's transportation employees recently created and performed in a musical to teach students in kindergarten through third grade the rules for waiting for the bus and riding the bus safely.
New (school) year’s resolutions
September 17, 2012
At this point in the calendar year, many of us have fallen behind on — or maybe even forgotten about — our New Year’s resolutions. But since you work in pupil transportation, do you set new school year’s resolutions? If not, here are a few ideas.
Tips for effective student management
August 20, 2012
In the September 2012 issue of SBF, I wrote an article titled “Positive Interactions Encourage Peaceful Bus Ride,” where I discussed programs and initiatives that officials said have helped to improve student behavior on the school bus. Here, I’ll share with you additional information that didn’t make it into the article.
Help cut summer overload
August 10, 2012
One activity that adds to the summer busyness is taking delivery of new buses. By one estimate, close to two-thirds of school buses are ordered for summer delivery. Why is that? And is it in the industry’s best interest? ...
Do you have a second job?
July 13, 2012
One of the things I enjoy about my job writing for SBF is getting to know how our readers spend their time outside of the operation that they work for. We recently learned about a Kentucky school bus driver who also runs a nail salon, and a director of transportation in Maine that holds a second job during the summer months. ...
Good terms with the government
July 6, 2012
Our David Strickland article could mark the first time that SCHOOL BUS FLEET has interviewed an administrator of NHTSA, which regulates school buses, tracks accident data and develops training materials related to pupil transportation. But this is not just about what we at SBF did. It’s part of what I see as growing ties between the pupil transportation community and key federal agencies. ...
The importance of field trips
June 21, 2012
Although I didn’t ride a school bus growing up, I did take them when I went on field trips. One trip I remember vividly was a visit to The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. It was an eye-opening experience, and it got me thinking ...
2 different takes on bus fees
May 21, 2012
In the ongoing struggle to protect pupil transportation service from the chopping block, many school district officials and even state legislators are looking for ways to help school bus operations generate revenue. One idea that has seen its fair share of controversy lately is school bus fees. ...
School buses on screen and after retirement
May 11, 2012
Outside of work, I’m often reminded of how school buses are an integral part of our culture. I recently saw a preview for “The Dark Knight Rises,” which included a scene with a school bus. This is one of many films where yellow buses play a role. They also remain useful after they’re retired, further exemplifying ...
Former bus safety champion goes yellow in wedding
April 30, 2012
For Kyle Alderson, having a school bus involved in his wedding wasn't just a fun and eye-catching way to get from the ceremony to the reception — it was also a meaningful link to his efforts for school bus safety in his youth.
The challenges of bus driver training
April 16, 2012
I read an interesting story recently that reported on an impending partnership for school bus driver training between an Augusta, Ga.-based school district and a local technical college. One of the objectives of the course is to help create a more qualified applicant pool. Around that time, I also spoke with a driver trainer at another operation, who shared with me some of the challenges she faces in instructing bus drivers. One thing she said was that ...
Driver training stays strong in tough times
April 9, 2012
About three-fourths of respondents to a recent survey said that no training-related budget cuts were made at their operation this school year. That finding and others in SBF's new Driver Training Survey suggest that the industry's commitment to thorough instruction of school bus drivers remains strong — even in a time of widespread budget shortfalls. ...

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