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Driver training aims to boost fuel economy
December 21, 2011
Officials with EcoCargo Training say their approach teaches drivers how to cut their fuel costs without increasing drive time. The method has reportedly been taught for more than a decade in Europe and South America, and now school and transit bus drivers in the U.S. are taking part in a pilot program.
Petition seeks funding for bus driver distraction study
December 20, 2011
The petition urges the Obama Administration to fund the proposed Virginia Tech Transportation Institute Center for Truck and Bus Safety study. Data collected from school bus drivers would be analyzed to determine distraction sources and their association with crashes, near-crashes and crash-relevant conflicts.
A new report found that 13 states allow advertising on the inside and/or outside of school buses. Pictured is a Houston Independent School District bus with a college ad.
Report sheds light on bus fee, ad rules
December 20, 2011
Twelve states allow — and one state mandates — school districts to charge fees for home-to-school transportation, according to a report from the Florida Legislature’s research arm that examines revenue generation. Thirteen states allow advertising on the inside and/or outside of school buses.
Antenna detects cell phone use in vehicles
December 20, 2011
The offering from inthinc Technology Solutions Inc. can decipher various cell wave frequencies, including phone calls, text messages and e-mails emitted from the driver’s seat. Fleet managers can adjust the settings to either send an in-cab voice alert to drivers when a cell signal is detected, or report the violation to the manager via e-mail or text alert.
STA offers discount on magnet bus service
December 19, 2011
The contractor offers the discount on its SchoolWheels program to families in Jacksonville, Fla., whose children attend magnet schools within Duval County Public Schools. The discount price applies for the remainder of the 2011-12 school year and comes to $5.48 per day, or $559 total.
Thomas Built to up production, recall 125 workers
December 19, 2011
The school bus manufacturer will recall the workers in early 2012. The upcoming increases to production levels and staffing come in response to "strong customer interest in the company's C2 school bus products," officials say.
N.D. troopers partner with schools to promote bus safety
December 19, 2011
The North Dakota Highway Patrol's "Trooper on a Bus" program is designed to enhance the enforcement of traffic laws and increase public awareness of the dangers of illegal bus passing. Starting Wednesday, troopers will ride along on school buses to observe motorists' activities, radioing in any information about drivers who fail to stop for buses when children are boarding and disembarking.
Bus driver honored for actions during chain-reaction crash
December 19, 2011
Ricky Graves maneuvers his bus to the right, avoiding a pickup truck coming toward him, and is able to bring his bus to a safe stop. While cars crash all around the bus, Graves keeps the students on board calm.
A compressed natural gas system will be available as an option on several Collins Type A models starting in spring 2012.
Collins to build CNG buses
December 19, 2011
The Type A manufacturer partners with BAF to develop the first Type A school bus with a compressed natural gas fuel system. The option will be available on several Collins models starting in spring 2012.
Researchers engineer E. coli to make fuels
December 15, 2011
Officials at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute have engineered the first strains of the bacteria that can digest switchgrass biomass and synthesize its sugars into advanced biofuels to replace gasoline, diesel and jet fuels. The microbes are reportedly able to do this without enzyme additives.
District responds to rumor of bus driver smoking, drinking on the job
December 15, 2011
Vernon (N.J.) Township School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. John B. Alfieri says that parents and students reported that the driver, who works for a bus company, engaged in this activity while transporting children, but surveillance tapes from the bus show it not to be true. However, Alfieri says that on one occasion the driver smoked a cigarette after children were dismissed, which will not be tolerated.
Students take over bus ad sales at Tenn. district
December 15, 2011
Mason Kalada and Nathan Dearman, seniors at a Sumner County Schools high school, make sales calls and presentations to businesses about the benefits of advertising on school buses. The program has raised nearly $25,000 since September.
The 2011 total of North American school bus sales is down 39 percent from the peak in 2006.
School bus sales drop 6.8 percent
December 15, 2011
SBF research finds that North American school bus sales in 2011 decreased for the fifth year in a row. The latest total is down 39 percent from the peak in 2006.
Gov. Jerry Brown announced on Tuesday mid-year budget cuts to numerous statewide programs. Funding for home-to-school transportation will be reduced by $248 million.
Photo by Wikipedia user Coolcaesar
$248M slashed for Calif. school transportation
December 15, 2011
Gov. Jerry Brown announces the cut on Tuesday as part of nearly $1 billion in mid-year budget reductions to statewide programs. Officials speak out upon hearing the news, including Mike Rea of the California Association of School Transportation Officials, who says the association will continue to work on a “legislative fix” that would move the transportation cut to an across-the-board revenue limit cut for school districts.
Ohio bus driver honored for actions during crash
December 15, 2011
On Oct. 5, Paint Valley Local Schools driver Mark Anderson turned his bus into a soybean field after a car collided head-on with the bus. The district's superintendent says this helped to prevent the bus from rolling over.
Families to mark 50th anniversary of deadly bus-train crash
December 13, 2011
On Dec. 14, 1961, Duane Harms drove his school bus into the path of a passenger train, which he reportedly didn't see coming. Twenty children were killed in the crash near Greeley, Colo.
NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said that it's "time for all of us to stand up for safety by turning off electronic devices when driving."
NTSB calls for nationwide ban on driver use of electronics
December 13, 2011
The recommendation to all 50 states and the District of Columbia is to outlaw the non-emergency use of portable electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle. Following its investigation of the 2010 truck-school bus crash in Gray Summit, Mo., the agency also makes recommendations on school bus evacuations, inspections and driver training.
As executive director of the New York City Department of Education's Office of Pupil Transportation, Alexandra Robinson will oversee all operations, directors and contracted routes.
Photo by Jaime Gallego
 
NAPT's Alexandra Robinson begins position at NYC DOE
December 13, 2011
The industry veteran and president of the association will serve as executive director of the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Pupil Transportation. She will oversee all city operations, borough directors and contracted routes.
Tags: NAPT
System notifies parent when child enters or exits bus
December 13, 2011
ZPass+ from Zonar Systems provides the instant notifications via text message or e-mail, and parents can also access specific student rider information through a password-protected website. Officials say the new technology is especially useful for children walking to and from a bus stop, and for special-needs children.
VIDEO: Student intervenes as bus driver dozes on freeway
December 13, 2011
Emmanuel Williams leaves his seat on the bus and positions himself behind the driver to talk to him and keep him awake. Williams became concerned after the driver dozed off and missed an exit on the freeway.

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