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<p>The Congress gathered at the Holiday Inn Des Moines Airport/Conference Center, conveniently located just across the street from the airport. <font size="1">Photo by Max Christensen.</font></p> PHOTOS: Highlights from NCST

The 16th National Congress on School Transportation, held in Des Moines, Iowa, last week, was the...

<p>On May 19, trade journalists were invited to get behind the wheel of Navistar&rsquo;s school buses and trucks at the proving grounds.</p> PHOTOS: School buses, trucks brave Navistar Proving Grounds

IC Bus parent Navistar invited School Bus Fleet and other publications to visit the...

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Could cameras replace mirrors on school buses?

While doing blind spot training with a driver, Donald West came up with the idea of removing mirrors and replacing them with cameras and LCD screens to potentially see the entire danger zone of a school bus.

School buses play a key position in athletics

With running having become a lifelong pursuit for me, I recently found myself once again riding a school bus to an important race, just like in high school. On April 20, I ran in the Boston Marathon for the first time. ...


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Integrated software suite

Seon now offers vMax Compass, a complete suite of school transportation solutions designed to work seamlessly together to deliver the real-time information needed to plan safe routes, track vehicles and student ridership, and capture, record and automatically download video of on-board incidents. The system provides transportation staff with immediate, web-based access to all of their critical school transportation information from anywhere, anytime, company officials said.

In an emergency situation, integrated information from a single solution is essential to coordinate the quickest possible response. For example, when a bus is involved in an accident, transportation directors can locate that bus on a map and identify the closest alternative bus or emergency response team. Because the routing software is synchronized with the school district’s student information system, staff can run a report to bring up a list of students currently traveling on the bus, and start to inform their emergency contacts of the situation, while the transportation director travels to the scene to document the crash.

With Seon’s integrated routing, GPS and student ridership tracking technology, school districts can display planned vs. actual routes on a single screen to identify missed stops, speeding or other unwanted driver behavior, according to the company. Districts can also monitor the health of their on-board technology in real time. Additionally, Seon’s solution combines the power of video to deliver additional contextual information about any critical on-board situation.

Bolt-on parallel electric system

The Kinetics Hybrid, a parallel electric system that captures regenerative braking energy and reuses it on vehicle launch, bolts onto new or existing vehicles to quickly transform class 3-7 trucks into more fuel-efficient and cleaner running vehicles, company officials said. Fleets have reported up to 30% more miles per gallon and a comparable reduction in emissions when the hybrid is used in heavy start/stop duty cycles, according to the company. The system is compatible with a variety of school bus and truck chassis.

No additional infrastructure, charging stations or batteries are required with the Kinetics Hybrid, company officials said.

Wheelchair retractor

The Titan800, a new wheelchair securement retractor in the existing Titan product line, is designed to meet the latest WC18 industry regulations, which take effect December 2015, company officials said. While the retractor has been completely redesigned, it has familiar highlights, including an auto-tensioning feature that helps webbing automatically retract into the housing and stay off the floor; a positive locking indicator for L-track applications that gives operators quick visual confirmation that the retractor fitting is safely locked into the vehicle anchor system; and a J-hook configuration that enables swift securement with one hand.
When used with a complete Sure-Lok system composed of wheelchair tie-downs, an occupant restraint system (including a lap-and-shoulder belt), and track and anchorages, the Titan800 meets the requirements of the RESNA WC18 standard and is compatible with WC19 wheelchairs, company officials said.

Rooftop air-conditioning units

Trans/Air’s new TA-20 Rooftop product line features rooftop units characterized by powerful cooling capacity as well as a distinctive aerodynamic design, according to the supplier. Rated at 34K Btu/hr, the TA-20 product line is suitable for a variety of applications, including Type A school buses, small commercial buses and work vans, company officials said. The rooftop units feature an aluminum body encased by UV-protected ABS acrylic cover and evaporator blowers oriented to support center aisle ducting or freeblow air distribution with maximum air flow. The TA-20 can be configured as a tie-in or super system and is available with optional heat and electronic controls.

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Did you know that hybrid technology can reduce emissions by up to 90% and improve fuel economy by as much as 55%?

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