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November 2011 Issue


Who’s behind the wheel?: optimizing driver background checks

By Kelly Roher

Officials say it is important to conduct both federal and state checks, as well as monitor applicants’ driving records. Pupil transporters discuss their operations’ hiring policies and procedures, which include contacting previous employers, and also share suggestions on ways the industry could protect itself against undesirable candidates who move from state to state.

Focused on occupant safety

Ricon Corp.’s K and S Series wheelchair lifts feature an interlocked restraint belt, as well as barriers to prevent excessive rolling on the platform. The company offers training for operators and technicians.

Specific special-needs evacuations: TBI and near drowning

Students who have suffered a traumatic brain injury or near drowning will require close physical safeguards and assistance in a bus evacuation. The commotion could set off a seizure.

4 tips for defusing difficult people

Pupil transportation leaders often have to meet with angry people. Staying calm, being respectful, and listening carefully and actively can go a long way toward resolving conflicts.

School boards on busing challenges, successes

In this roundtable, board members from four school districts share insight on the struggle to maintain school bus services in the face of funding shortfalls.

Q&A: NASDPTS' Mike Simmons strives for team efforts

Kicking off his second year as NASDPTS president, Mike Simmons focuses on promoting pupil transportation with other associations and the feds. He also aims to get more states involved in a national stop-arm running survey.

Young guns in the yellow bus industry

In this new feature, we turn the spotlight on the younger side of school transportation. Find out how these movers and shakers got involved in the industry, how they contribute to its success and what they see in its future.

Q&A: NAPT's Alexandra Robinson casts an eye on the future

At this year’s conference in Cincinnati, Alexandra Robinson will become president of the National Association for Pupil Transportation. Her goals include analyzing the link between student achievement and access to school bus service, and maintaining and growing the industry’s pool of strong leaders.

Annual association conferences: off to Ohio

This year’s NASDPTS and NAPT conferences will be held in Cincinnati, covering such topics as student behavior challenges, stop-arm violations and maintaining a transportation program under serious budget restraints. The NAPT trade show will feature more than 100 exhibits from industry suppliers.

Trans Tech goes green with electric school bus

The Type A school bus manufacturer’s 42-passenger eTrans unit will feature a zero-emissions chassis, a regenerative braking system and the ability to travel 100 to 130 miles per charge. The bus is scheduled to debut at this year’s National Association for Pupil Transportation conference and to go into production next year.

Editorials

Yellow bus industry: a tried and true system

Executive Editor Thomas McMahon shares his thoughts on what may cause some parents to avoid having their children ride school buses, but points to the industry's success and the need to inform those parents of the industry's unrivaled safety record.

Many options for alternative fuels

Alternative fuels are already being derived from an eclectic range of sources; the future will surely hold many more.

2011 school bus regulatory highlights

August and September were busy months for federal agencies influencing school buses. Here's a wrap-up of major actions announced or in the works.

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