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The 10 Commandments for Pupil Transportation
January 23, 2012
Transportation Supervisor Louk Markham wanted something to help his employees work better as a team. He came up with a list of "commandments" — ranging from licensing requirements to bus inspections to treatment of others — and shared them with his 22 drivers ...
No shortage of holiday spirit
December 16, 2011
Quite often during this time of year, we hear about work that pupil transportation officials across the country are doing to help those in need. Here, I’ll share with you details on a few efforts that I learned of recently.
Yellow buses: a worldwide beacon
December 12, 2011
The U.S. catches a lot of flak — from inside and outside of its borders — regarding its military involvements, its other foreign policies, the practices of its businesses and on and on. But one area in which our great nation is widely admired by the rest of the world is school transportation. At the recent ...
Drivers get creative with bus safety musical
November 28, 2011
School bus drivers at Mercer Island (Wash.) School District developed and performed in a play called “School Bus: The Musical” to teach elementary school students about bus safety. It presents several rules regarding waiting for the bus, crossing the street safely and correct bus passenger behavior.
School bus company helps promote music education
November 11, 2011
Music influences me on many levels, so I was intrigued when SBF received word that school bus contractor Student Transportation Inc. was involved in a media art and music education project. The company recently unveiled a mobile recording studio in partnership with Carolina Studios, a nonprofit organization.
Out of my control
October 28, 2011
While I’m well aware that the statistics show that the yellow bus is the safest form of school transportation, the thought of letting someone I don’t know drive my sons is, to be honest, a little scary. This raises a pertinent question: Do some parents decline the school bus because they feel it’s safer for their kids to ride with Mom,
Does bus seat height affect behavior management?
October 17, 2011
Two years ago, a federal rule went into effect that raised the minimum height of seat backs on new school buses from 20 inches to 24 inches. The goal was to help prevent taller and heavier children from being thrown over the seat in a crash. But can the taller seats have an unintended impact on another aspect of bus safety?
Target bus stop dangers
September 16, 2011
This summer, I heard the harrowing story of Jaycee Dugard’s life for nearly two decades after she was abducted from a school bus stop in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., in 1991 by convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido and held captive in the backyard of his home. This got me thinking about what school districts can do to maximize student safety at bus stops.
Getting to know my driver
August 19, 2011
I usually sat near the back when I rode Diane's bus in high school, and I never really got to know her over those few years. But now here we were, nearly a decade and a half later, both in jobs that led us to this same pupil transportation conference in a faraway state. ...
Could school bus ads end up being costly?
August 12, 2011
On the timely topic of advertising on school buses, one concern is the potential for trouble in controlling the ad content. The fear of legal ramifications seems to be supported by a court case involving a transit agency that refused to run bus ads aimed at convicted felons.
What do you do in your free time?
August 5, 2011
Devoting time to your interests outside of your job is important. At the very least, it can help you return to your job with newfound focus. This is the case for John Clements of Kings Canyon Unified School District in Reedley, Calif., who enjoys kayaking in his free time. After learning this, I'm interested ...
How did you start your pupil transportation career?
July 15, 2011
Many of the people whom I and my fellow editors have met and spoken with during our time with SBF have worked in the pupil transportation industry for many years — some for two- or three-plus decades. A lot of those individuals started their careers as school bus drivers and worked their way up to their current position. I'm interested to learn how you got your start in the industry, and also ...
Not just transportation
June 27, 2011
School buses in the U.S. safely shuttle some 24 million kids to and from school each day, but are the big, yellow vessels contributing to the education process in other ways? Lately, I’ve been seeing a slew of examples that show ...
Bus company assists in training of service dogs
June 9, 2011
In my experience, pupil transporters are compassionate, caring people who are dedicated to doing their jobs well. For many, this compassion and dedication extends to the communities they serve, as exemplified by the staff at Franklin, Mass.-based Vendetti Buses/Vendetti Motors. When a volunteer for the ...
Seeing the driver’s view
May 20, 2011
Ride-alongs can be a great way for local officials and others to get a better understanding of school transportation systems. ...
Memorable moments on the job
May 9, 2011
I think it’s safe to say that most people have an experience while doing their job that’s especially memorable, or a time when they realized the effect they were having on other people’s lives as a result of their work. One experience that sticks out for me in my years working for SBF is when ...
Operations take action to cut costs
April 15, 2011
It’s no secret that pupil transportation operations around the nation are contending with budget cuts due to the challenging economic climate. In the last few months, we’ve learned about a variety of efforts that school districts and transportation departments have implemented to alleviate the strain of this circumstance by cutting costs.
School bus security in Israel
April 11, 2011
While our industry trains and prepares for the possibility of a security threat, we can also reflect on how fortunate we in the U.S. are to not be subjected to the perpetual hazards that people in some other areas of the world live with. This came to mind upon learning of a school bus in Israel being struck by an anti-tank missile on Thursday.
SBF hits the road
March 28, 2011
We here at SBF visit pupil transportation facilities around Southern California throughout the year to chat with the staff and learn about the operation. Here, I’d like to share with you some of the things I learned during a visit to Orange Unified School District.
Retirement and replenishment
March 18, 2011
Over the past year, there has been a surge of pupil transportation stalwarts stepping down from their longtime posts, many of them state directors. Some are leaving the workforce altogether (at least for the time being), while others ...

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