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Articles/News with Florida tag

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1,600 transportation staff trained in Florida district’s fall conference
August 12, 2014
Orange County Public Schools prepares its school bus drivers, monitors and support staff for the new school year with a two-day event that covers such topics as student discipline, bullying, customer service and safe driving strategies.
New Florida state director has decades of experience
August 12, 2014
Ronnie McCallister, who succeeds longtime state pupil transportation director Charlie Hood, is no stranger to the Florida Department of Education. He began working there as a fleet program specialist in 1990 and was promoted to assistant director of pupil transportation in 2004.
Bus assistant resigns after being accused of slapping autistic child
July 7, 2014
Pasco County (Fla.) Schools bus assistant James Lambert was charged with two counts of child abuse after allegedly striking a 10-year-old boy for cursing. The district had planned to start the process of terminating his employment, according to a spokeswoman. Lambert had been reprimanded multiple times in the past; however, in none of those instances was he accused of hitting a child.
District to fire driver who let son drive school bus
June 17, 2014
Theresa Robinson admitted to allowing her son to drive the school bus that was assigned to her. An investigation conducted by Hillsborough County (Fla.) Public Schools found that Robinson's son took the bus to be washed and detailed and that no children were on board at the time.
District uses school bus for program that feeds low-income students
June 16, 2014
The Manatee County (Fla.) School District’s school bus, which no longer runs in its fleet, is wrapped with brightly colored photos of the four food groups and delivers free lunches to more than 100 children each day. The food bus program runs through Aug. 8 and is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Deputies to ride buses for increased passenger safety
May 21, 2014
The armed law enforcement officers will ride on Polk County Public Schools buses that transport students to two alternative high schools in Florida after two students were caught on video allegedly punching another student. The temporary measure will be in place until the end of the school year, with the hope for a new safety plan in place for the fall, officials say.
District’s operations division honored for performance excellence
May 19, 2014
The operations division for Florida’s Orange County Public Schools receives the Governor’s Sterling Award, as does the Walton County Tax Collector’s Office. Within the school district’s operations division, the transportation department has sustained on-time arrival of buses of better than 98% from 2010 to 2013, and the transportation cost per student has been reduced from $914 to $869.
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.
Florida school bus driver killed in crash
April 21, 2014
According to a preliminary police investigation, a Toyota Camry turned and struck a school bus, which veered off the road and into a pole. The bus driver, 65-year-old William Fowler II, did not survive the crash. The Toyota driver has been charged with DUI, authorities say.
Florida district buys 98 propane buses
April 7, 2014
Broward County Public Schools’ move is being called the nation’s largest single order of propane autogas school buses by a school district. Broward officials say that they expect a six-month return on investment for the additional purchase price of the alternative-fuel buses due to fuel cost and maintenance savings.
8-year-old hit by teen driver passing bus
March 27, 2014
A Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., girl is seriously injured when a 17-year-old driving a pickup truck illegally passes her stopped school bus and strikes her. The girl is taken to the hospital, but a local news source reports that her condition is improving.
Charlie Hood named next executive director of NASDPTS
March 24, 2014
Hood, the longtime Florida state pupil transportation director, will take on the association position this summer, after current Executive Director Bob Riley retires. NASDPTS President Max Christensen says that Hood "brings new ideas and enthusiasm to the position that will help the association move forward with expanded services and direction."
Bill would exempt school bus drivers from paying tolls
March 6, 2014
Under House Bill 1331 in the Florida Legislature, a person driving a public school bus or another district-owned vehicle on official school district business could pass free through all tollgates and over all toll bridges and ferries in the state. The bill’s sponsor reportedly looked into the issue after a middle school student called her office to ask about tolls paid by school bus drivers.
New bus depot to save district $400K in fuel, driver pay
February 3, 2014
Sarasota County Schools builds the depot in North Port, Fla., which the transportation director says reduces the number of empty miles the drivers had been traveling from the old depot to their first and last pickups of the day. Pickup times and routes aren’t expected to change.
Bus driver rear-ends bus, 15 students injured
December 17, 2013
The bus in front, which is transporting students for Florida’s Moody Elementary School, stops suddenly for heavy traffic. The driver behind the bus does not stop in time and will be cited for careless driving. All injured students are transported to hospitals, treated for minor injuries and released.
Florida’s Don Ross named general manager of LBS South
December 9, 2013
Ross joined the school bus dealership in April as service director after working for more than 13 years at the School District of Manatee County in several roles, including director of transportation and vehicle maintenance. In his new role, Ross will be responsible for the management, oversight and strategic direction of LBS South.
Video catches transit bus illegally passing school bus
December 3, 2013
Video from Lee County Transit shows one of its buses illegally passing a school bus that has its lights flashing and stop arm out. The transit bus driver tells officials that he thought the school bus driver had waved to indicate that it was safe for him to proceed.
Report of car following bus takes humorous turn
November 21, 2013
For school bus drivers, vigilance is essential, but sometimes it has unexpected results. That was the case in a recent incident in Miami in which a school bus driver reported a suspicious-looking vehicle following the bus.
Florida authorities make arrest in school bus thefts
November 7, 2013
Alphonso Bernard Rock, owner of 95 South Tours and Transportation, is taken into custody after deputies discover two school buses that had gone missing from a Georgia district at a football stadium in Jacksonville, Fla. Deputies also discover two school buses that were stolen from a Florida district near an interstate in Gainesville, Fla.
After child choked on bus, driver charged with neglect
October 24, 2013
A school bus driver is arrested and charged with child neglect after a child was choked unconscious by another child on her bus. Detectives say that the driver “failed to provide any assistance to the victim during or after the Oct. 15 attack.”
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