Raymond Martinez is cleared by the Senate to lead FMCSA. The National School Transportation Association says it looks forward to working with him.
EDMOND, Okla. — A local school district is tightening up its transportation service due to a school bus driver shortage described as “critical.”
Edmond Public Schools is consolidating bus stops in some neighborhoods and cutting service to other neighborhoods that are within 1 mile of a school. According to the district, the driver shortage forced the changes.
“Three weeks ago, we were down 17 drivers. In just a few short weeks, we have lost an additional 12 drivers for a total of 29 drivers to date,” said Kenny Chamlee, transportation director for Edmond Public Schools. “Without enough drivers, we will not be able to meet the daily demands of safely transporting students once school begins August 18.”
The district said that despite “aggressive” advertising, a number of open school bus driver positions remain unfilled. Meanwhile, the shortage prompted a re-examination of school bus routes to look for ways to boost efficiency.
“By consolidating an overabundance of bus stops in some neighborhoods and discontinuing service to a few neighborhoods which will affect about 170 or so students, we can significantly improve the service we provide to the 8,000 students who rely on us for transportation every day,” Chamlee said.
Oklahoma does not provide reimbursement for school bus service within 1 mile of a school. Even so, Edmond Public Schools has been providing such service as a courtesy for dozens of neighborhoods for many years. Due to the driver shortage, the district is now discontinuing courtesy service in 10 neighborhoods for the 2017-18 school year.
“We are only eliminating bus service in neighborhoods where students can safely walk to their neighborhood school,” district Superintendent Bret Towne said. “It’s a difficult decision but one that is necessary. We will carefully monitor the situation, and if the bus driver shortage improves, it’s possible that we could re-establish bus service to those affected neighborhoods.”
Meanwhile, the number of school bus stops will be reduced in about two dozen neighborhoods.
“In some neighborhoods we have up to 20 stops, with drivers stopping every few houses,” Chamlee said. “By reducing the stops and asking students to walk just a bit farther, we can ultimately provide faster, more efficient service to all riders.”
Edmond Public Schools is continuing to recruit school bus drivers. The district's starting driver pay will increase from $12 per hour to $12.60 per hour with the expected approval later this month of a master agreement with the Support Employees of Edmond.
The webinar, titled “School & Mass Shootings in America: What Now?”, will be led by researcher Dr. Jaclyn Schildkraut.
Charter school operator ILTexas will equip all 16 of its buses with Fogmaker North America’s fire suppression kits.
Plain Local Schools pupils show what to do — and what not to do — to stay safe when riding the bus. The segment was created by GlenOak High School video production students.
The Synapse 72 all-electric buses are expected to be delivered to Rialto Unified School District this summer.
Bus incidents in four states reveal a heightened level of vigilance after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
The IC Bus parent company recognizes suppliers that exceeded performance expectations for quality, delivery, technology, and cost.
Guilford County (N.C.) Schools has used the school bus OEM’s $100,000 contribution for STEM programs, a gym floor replacement, and other efforts.
A $0.50 per gallon credit for propane and natural gas and an alt-fuel infrastructure incentive are among tax provisions retroactively applied to last year.
The Type D line is now powered by the Cummins L9 diesel engine and offers OnCommand Connection remote diagnostics, among other features.
Franceille Fleurine of Massachusetts reportedly strikes two trees, smashing the back window of the bus, and then continues to drive her route.
Here’s a high-profile plug for the Love the Bus campaign. Dr. Ross Renfrow, superintendent of Johnston County (N.C.) Public Schools, and Mark Johnson, North Carolina’s state superintendent, give a shoutout to school bus drivers and other transportation team members.
School Bus Fleet's general manager and publisher says that with so many pieces of the budget pie competing for dollars, someone needs to remind our elected officials why pupil transportation should be a priority.
The CEO of a data analytics solutions provider highlights the top innovations that may have a long-lasting impact on school transportation.
The Reason Foundation’s Annual Highway Report finds that North Dakota and Kansas have the nation’s most cost-effective highway systems, while New Jersey and Rhode Island have the worst.