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Assembly Bill 470, which was recently signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, will expand the potential use of the last $2 from motor vehicle registration fees by authorizing air quality management districts to put the money toward retrofitting existing school buses with emissions-control equipment. Photo by Wikipedia user Coolcaesar
Calif. frees up funds for bus emission retrofits
August 18, 2011
Gov. Jerry Brown recently signs into law legislation that will allow air quality management districts to put $2 from motor vehicle registration fees toward emission-control devices for existing school buses. Mike Rea of the California Association of School Transportation Officials tells SBF that based on his understanding of the bill, it will be effective, and that the next step will be for local air districts to adopt a funding program for using the money.
Student Transportation of America is among the bus companies that issued back-to-school safety tips for students, motorists and parents. STA says that parents should not park in a bus-only zone if they are going to drop off or pick up their children at school. Photo by John Horton
Agencies prep for new school year with safety efforts, tips
August 17, 2011
With school buses hitting the road, officials from school districts, bus companies and law enforcement agencies are implementing traffic safety initiatives, and issuing tips for students, motorists and parents. In North Carolina, for example, Rockingham County Schools has installed nine cameras that will rotate among its buses to help catch motorists who illegally pass stopped school buses.
Legal Routes lowers fee, offers free issue
August 16, 2011
In celebration of its upcoming 10th anniversary, the pupil transportation law publication rolls back its subscription fees and gives away a free eight-page premium edition to new and renewing subscribers.
This danger zone diagram from the California Department of Education can be downloaded via the link in the article.
5 safety tips for school start from Calif. DOE
August 16, 2011
Reminding school bus drivers to check for sleeping students and reviewing the danger zone are among the safety practices in a list distributed by the state DOE’s Office of School Transportation.
N.Y. toughens restrictions on bus driver applicants
August 16, 2011
The legislation, signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday, adds to the list of convictions that would either permanently disqualify a school bus driver applicant or disqualify the candidate for five years. Crimes for which a conviction would ban a person from becoming a bus driver include aggravated manslaughter in the first or second degree and sexual abuse in the first degree.
Tags: New York
Cleaire acquired by NewWorld Capital Group
August 16, 2011
Cleaire Advanced Emission Controls is a provider of particulate matter and nitrogen oxide abatement products for on-road and off-road heavy-duty, diesel-powered vehicles. Officials say that in light of growing demand for mobile-source diesel particulate filters, NewWorld’s investment will enable Cleaire to expand its sales and product support capability in domestic and international markets.
Tags: emissions
Fla. district lifts school bus laptop ban
August 16, 2011
When school starts this month, School District of Manatee County students will be allowed to use laptops and iPads on school buses. The ban on these items is lifted after school principals suggest that time on the bus can be spent doing homework.
Tags: Florida
Bus riders to wear special tags after boy goes missing
August 16, 2011
Kindergarten through third-grade students from a Georgia elementary school who ride a bus will wear a tag with the number of their bus on it. The safety measure is adopted after a boy gets on the wrong bus and goes missing for several hours.
Gary Bubar named executive director at MAPT
August 11, 2011
Following an extensive nationwide search, the Michigan Association for Pupil Transportation picks Bubar, a former consultant of transportation safety for the state, to oversee its operations and staff. Association President Darryl Hofstra shares details on the selection process with SBF.
Teen sentenced for burning Ind. district’s buses
August 11, 2011
The 15-year-old boy, who has been in secure detention for 68 days, will spend a maximum of 22 more days there, followed by several months at a treatment center for children, for intentionally starting a fire in June that destroyed four Tippecanoe School Corp. buses. If he fails to comply at the treatment center, he will be sent to the state’s Department of Correction.
‘Stuff the Bus’ drive to benefit 2 Ky. districts
August 11, 2011
Chick-fil-A and Stockpilingmoms.com partner to host the event, in which two school buses will collect donations for Boone County Schools and Kenton County Schools. The bus that collects the most donations will receive an additional $500 for its district.
Tags: Kentucky
In Keller Independent School District's new fare-based transportation program, student ID cards with embedded RFID tags will be issued to bus riders.
Bus fee program to use high-tech tools
August 11, 2011
The superintendent of Keller (Texas) Independent School District says that the system “will operate in much the same way as a city bus pass.” Families can use an online portal to pay either monthly or by the semester for a pass, which will come in the form of a student ID card with embedded RFID tags.
District grants bus service to students to avoid unsafe road
August 11, 2011
Officials at the Florida district will allow a group of seven to 10 students to ride the bus to their elementary school despite a state policy that denies bus service to students living less than two miles away from school. The only walking route to the students' school is along a two-lane stretch of road, where no barrier separates the street from the sidewalk.
NAPT Summit to address transportation management, bullying
August 10, 2011
Those are among the topics that keynote presenters will discuss during the event, according to the tentative agenda, which is now available. Workshops and breakout sessions will cover such issues as working with principals and other building administrators, and distracted driving.
Girl left at wrong bus stop goes missing for 2 hours
August 9, 2011
Lyric Gavin, 5, takes the bus home from school on Monday and is dropped off 15 minutes away from where she lives. The bus driver does not see Lyric's address tag on her backpack because she exits the bus with a group of students, according to the school district's spokeswoman. A parent finds Lyric wandering in an apartment complex and calls her mother.
President Obama is meeting today with industry officials to discuss new standards on fuel efficiency and pollution for trucks and buses.
Feds: Truck, bus standards to save $50 billion in fuel costs
August 9, 2011
The Obama administration says that under its new standards for fuel efficiency and pollution, trucks and buses built in 2014 through 2018 will reduce oil consumption by a projected 530 million barrels and greenhouse gas by about 270 million metric tons.
District to save $200K with fewer elementary bus stops
August 9, 2011
Officials at Gaston County Schools in North Carolina say that with statewide budget cuts, the district can no longer afford to have school buses stop at every household, but under the new route plan, no elementary student will be required to walk farther than one-fifth or two-tenths of a mile to a bus stop. The changes will also reduce bus trip time by 15 percent and reduce the need to idle buses.
Deborah Hersman, with her family, is sworn in for a second two-year term as chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.
Hersman to serve again as head of NTSB
August 8, 2011
The Senate confirms Deborah Hersman for another two-year term as chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. Her credentials include a CDL with a school bus endorsement.
Tags: NTSB
School board votes to restore bus service for N.J. district
August 8, 2011
The district’s budget called for the elimination of “courtesy” busing for public school students in grades 1 through 4, and the district was also planning to consolidate private bus routes. Concerns about student safety prompted the school board to restore the service. All routes will be financed using money budgeted for a charter school, which will not open in the fall as planned.
Review: Bullying Prevention on the School Bus
August 8, 2011
Pupil transportation veteran Cheryl Wolf writes that the anti-bullying training program from the School Bus Safety Co. "should be mandatory for all new drivers and should be used as a refresher course for all drivers at the beginning of the school year."

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