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Articles/News - School Bus Management / Training

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Texas district awarded for transportation performance
May 13, 2014
The Council of the Great City Schools honors the Houston Independent School District transportation department for exemplary use of technology, staff development and training, quick and efficient service, and resource stewardship.
District expects activity buses to save $4,000 per trip
May 13, 2014
Southern California's William S. Hart Union High School District specs the Blue Bird Type D buses to turn them into activity buses, outfitting them with coach-style seating, overhead open storage compartments and ducted air-conditioning systems. Director of Transportation Richard Varner estimates that using these buses will cost around $2,000 per trip on the longest trips, compared to $6,000 for a charter bus.
District honored for school bus routing after tornado
May 12, 2014
The transportation department at Missouri's Joplin Schools receives the 2014 Public Sector Excellence Award from Tyler Technologies for its creative use of the Versatrans transportation management system following a May 2011 tornado, including identifying students affected by the disaster and creating new routes around the damaged areas. Two more school districts are among the seven other award recipients.
Zonar files patent infringement suit against Synovia
May 9, 2014
Zonar Systems confirms that it has filed a patent infringement action against Synovia Solutions LLC. In the complaint, Synovia is accused of infringing the patent under which Zonar has developed and deployed its Z Pass student ridership reporting solution.
Espar engine pre-heater available in Trans Tech buses
May 9, 2014
The company’s E-Guardian 5 engine pre-heater is available on the Type A school bus manufacturer’s buses immediately. The E-Guardian 5 is EPA verified and California Air Resources Board approved, and officials say some of the benefits of the system include a warm engine start without plug-ins, reduced engine idling for fuel savings, less engine maintenance and use of the Multi-Max Digital Controller for ease of use.
Alabama district delays school bus fee plan by 1 year
May 8, 2014
Hoover City Schools' plan to charge fees for student transportation is now being targeted for the 2015-16 school year instead of 2014-15. The plan outlines a fee structure that ranges from $0.43 to $2.26 per day, depending on how many student riders a family has and whether they qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.
Robust program planned for U.K. transport conference
May 7, 2014
Interchangeability 2014 will be held in Buckinghamshire, England, June 15-18, and officials say attendees will be able to choose from more than 35 seminars and workshops that will cover such topics as planning for the future, how to deliver more with less and how to include young people with special needs in transportation planning. Organizers say that U.S. and Canadian pupil transportation delegates are encouraged to attend.
Ron Latko to retire from Arizona school district
May 6, 2014
Latko, who has served as director of transportation at Mesa Public Schools for eight years, will retire at the end of this school year. He reflects on his career and tells SBF what lies ahead for him: school transportation consulting work.
Transportation veteran made mark in training, new facility
May 5, 2014
Sharon Schalk was a driving force in training Washington's school bus driver instructors, and she pushed for funding for a much-needed new transportation facility at her district. She died on April 25 after being diagnosed with cancer a few months earlier.
Seon announces anti-bullying grant recipients
May 1, 2014
The mobile surveillance supplier selects seven recipients for its anti-bullying grant and The Bully Project Educator’s DVD and Toolkits. Twelve more grant applicants are awarded The Bully Project Educator’s DVD and Toolkits.
Texas district holds driver attendance contest
May 1, 2014
The attendance competition among Houston Independent School District's four bus terminals was timed during a week of state testing for students. District officials say that the goals were to make sure students got to school on time and to show drivers "how important their role is in the students’ success."
NAPT News & Views — Winter 2014: Yellow buses completed their appointed rounds
May 1, 2014

Winter this year was particularly challenging, with storm after storm dumping massive snowfalls again and again, as far south as Atlanta. The lesson of this winter is an important one for policymakers everywhere: School buses are an indispensable community service.

Thomas Built Buses honors top dealers
April 30, 2014
Virginia's Sonny Merryman Inc. is named Thomas Built's Dealer of the Year for the fifth time. The school bus OEM also presents its Dealer Trainer of the Year award to Dave Nelson of Nelson’s Bus Service in Wisconsin.
Florida district’s transportation manager resigns
April 30, 2014
John Franklin steps down after seven years as general manager of transportation of Hillsborough County Public Schools. Officials say he led the transportation department through “an eventful time of change and challenges,” and they say that Chief Facilities Officer Chris Farkas will directly oversee the transportation department until Franklin’s replacement is hired.
Indiana school bus drivers award $500 scholarship
April 28, 2014
Corbin Sollman, son of Indiana State School Bus Drivers Association member Nikki Sollman, wins the association's annual scholarship. The high school senior's community service includes assisting with the building of a wheelchair ramp for a disabled person.
Pay raise proposed to help fill school bus driver shortage
April 28, 2014
At Greenville (S.C.) County Schools, starting school bus driver wages would increase 9.6%, from $11.68 to $12.80 per hour, under a budget proposal for fiscal year 2015. The move would be aimed at helping to attract and retain drivers.
Districts are in the transportation business
April 28, 2014

School districts’ primary responsibility is to educate children. But that doesn’t mean it’s their only responsibility. Pupil transportation is still a part of the overall service that the district provides for the public.

City approves $2.7M purchase of new school bus fleet
April 24, 2014
The Pittsfield (Mass.) City Council will trade in 52 buses and buy 43 new buses that Pittsfield Public Schools will own and operate. The district has also hired a consultant to do a one-month study of the fleet’s efficiency, which will help the next time it looks into buying a new fleet, and it could help in creating space for students who would pay to ride the buses.
Steve Gilliland to keynote NAPT Summit
April 24, 2014
The speaker will supply “motivation with a side of humor” during the National Association for Pupil Transportation conference in Kansas City, Mo., in November. The association says that Gilliland’s session will provide “a blueprint for getting the most out of life.”
Missouri district builds its own bus video systems
April 24, 2014
At Carl Junction R-1 School District, shop technicians put together four-camera surveillance systems for the district's school buses. The team recently began testing two additional cameras: one on the back of the bus and one underneath.

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