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July 2013 Issue


How to fine-tune bell times for bus efficiency

By Stephane Babcock

Restructuring school start times requires careful planning and collaboration with key stakeholders. Overcoming the obstacles can reap big savings in transportation costs.

PA systems help drivers communicate safely

Whether directing students to cross the street safely in front of the bus or providing instructions during an emergency, these systems are vital to helping drivers communicate effectively. Suppliers meet these needs with systems as simple as speakers and a microphone or as elaborate as speakers integrated with emergency switches and ambient noise systems.

With growth, Krapf keeps focus on people

After 70 years in operation, Pennsylvania-based George Krapf Jr. & Sons is the sixth-largest school bus contractor in the nation and extends into multiple states. CEO Blake Krapf says that building strong relationships with districts and maintaining a top-quality staff are still the keys to the business.

REI's Chris Shigley on company growth, market trends

As Radio Engineering Industries celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2013, the company’s national sales manager says customers’ needs have played a key role in its development from a radio sales and repair store to a manufacturer and distributor of transportation products. One product he sees in great demand in the industry today is cameras, both for internal surveillance of a school bus and to capture stop-arm violators.

Do I take the job?: 7 steps to making the right call

For transportation directors, moving to a new school district can be a great career path or a rocky road. Here are key factors to consider before taking the plunge.  

Dubai conference draws global insights on school transport

Speakers and delegates from around the world gathered at the emirate’s first school transportation conference, making recommendations in safety and security, driver training and other areas. NAPT President Alex Robinson says that being at the event had a feeling of “what it was probably like to be at an early Warrensburg conference.”

Editorials

Shop pop quiz: commonly missed issues

The following questions cover commonly missed issues in school bus maintenance. For the budget-minded director or fleet manager, making sure that technicians get these types of items right the first time is important in keeping costs down.

Safety beyond the school

The big, yellow bus also proves to be a sign of safety for the public in general, particularly in times of crisis.

Industry veteran pens travel book

Sian Thornthwaite of STC Consultancy in Pride Park, Derby, U.K., journeyed around the U.S. last summer with her beagle, Bailey, and wrote about their adventures in Dog Days in New England.

NAPT News & Views — Peter Mannella on how he would change the world

To shed some light on the personalities that make up the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) board of directors, the association has launched a series of board member profiles. Here, we hear from Peter Mannella, NAPT Region 1 director and executive director of the New York Association for Pupil Transportation.

Why transporters and educators should work together

The No. 1 win is for students with disabilities, who through this collaboration will get the most appropriate transportation service in a high-quality, efficient and safe way.

I took the wheel — of a yellow bus

The goal was for me to get a better sense of what school bus drivers face in terms of maneuvering such a large vehicle on the road. Its ease of maneuverability was eye-opening.

What's new in the Top 50

The latest developments related to several of this year’s largest school bus contractors.

Transportation costs: 'Dare to compare'?

Do your homework to understand how one operation compares to yours, and then — and only then — dare to compare.

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