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N.C. bus driver wins $283K jackpot
February 23, 2012
Audrey Childers, a school bus driver and substitute teacher from Mount Holly, wins $283,484 in the Carolina Cash 5 lottery. Childers says she will use her winnings to purchase a house.
First Student President Linda Burtwistle says that school districts are having to do more with less, which challenges the company to help them run even more efficiently.
Burtwistle: District funding pressures not expected to ease
February 23, 2012
As president of the largest school bus contractor in the U.S. and Canada, First Student’s Linda Burtwistle has a keen perspective on the range of issues impacting the pupil transportation industry. She recently shared her insights with SBF Executive Editor Thomas McMahon.
Carey Paster joins National Express Corp.
February 22, 2012
The school bus contracting veteran has been appointed to the newly created role of vice president of mergers and acquisitions, where he will be responsible for furthering National Express’ presence in the passenger transportation market. Paster previously held roles with FirstGroup America and First Student.
Electric school buses to be manufactured for China
February 22, 2012
Smith Electric Vehicles Corp. signs a letter of intent with Wanxiang Group that includes a joint venture investment of up to $75 million to develop, manufacture and commercialize all-electric school buses and commercial vehicles for multiple industries in the country. The vehicles will combine Wanxiang’s EV componentry technologies with Smith’s proprietary platform vehicle designs.
Forum to focus on attentive driving
February 21, 2012
The National Transportation Safety Board’s one-day event will "identify how distractions affect behavior behind the wheel and focus on measures that promote attentive driving," Chairman Deborah Hersman says.
Blue Bird receives EPA, CARB engine certification
February 21, 2012
The school bus manufacturer’s 2010 through 2012 model Vision and All American units, which are equipped with Cummins’ ISB6.7 engine, are certified by the agencies. Officials say the ability to deliver these ratings can be attributed to Cummins’ total system integration with selective catalytic reduction technology.
N.Y. bills target school bus passing, signage
February 21, 2012
The state Senate passes a trio of school bus bills that backers say will protect child safety and enhance communication. One would impose a 60-day suspension of a driver’s license if convicted of stop-arm running two or more times.
Tags: New York
SEFAC pantograph lift saves space, maximizes access
February 21, 2012
The company's new OMER KAR pantograph lift is available in capacities of 55,000 pounds and 77,000 pounds, and in runway lengths up to 36 feet. There are no mechanical crossbeams linking the runways, making it easy for operators to wheel tools, oil drainers or transmission jacks under the vehicle, according to SEFAC.
OSBA shares mission, goals with provincial officials
February 17, 2012
Representatives of the Ontario School Bus Association discuss this information during meetings with the senior policy adviser to the education minister and with an MPP. A meeting with the minister of transportation covers commercial driver testing, among other issues.
Tags: Ontario
A dump truck struck the driver's side rear of a school bus, and then the bus struck a pole. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is among authorities investigating the fatal crash. Photo from NTSB
1 dead, 17 injured in N.J. school bus crash
February 17, 2012
Authorities are investigating Thursday’s accident, wherein a dump truck struck the driver’s side rear of the bus at an intersection, and the impact of the crash caused the bus to strike a pole. In addition to the fatality, two of the injured children are in critical condition.
New Canadian sales manager for Q’Straint, Sure-Lok
February 16, 2012
Paul Faucher brings more than 26 years of business experience to the wheelchair and occupant securement suppliers. He is also an accomplished athlete, having competed in short track speed skating in Canada and the U.S.
National Express names chief operating officer
February 16, 2012
The school bus contracting company appoints Charlie Bruce to the newly created role, where he will be responsible for overseeing all North American operations. Bruce most recently served as the chief operating officer for First Student Inc.
Leonard Bus Sales opens new facility
February 16, 2012
The 32,000-square foot facility for bus sales, service and parts is located in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and it replaces the company’s former facility in Mechanicville. The facility features 17 full-service bays, a 7,000-square foot parts department, a 60,000-pound lift and a parking lot that can accommodate 244 buses.
EPA awards grant to N.Y. contractor
February 16, 2012
Chestnut Ridge Transportation receives the grant to replace and/or upgrade the school bus fleets it operates for East Ramapo and Ramapo central school districts. The funding is awarded as part of the NSTA's "Go Yellow, Go Green" national campaign, which encourages cleaner operation of school buses.
AngelTrax releases new mobile video management tool
February 16, 2012
MOTOTrax allows users to view the status and location of their vehicles, determine the health of their mobile surveillance system and stream live video from vehicles in the field. It then organizes all the data into comprehensive, automated reports.
TBI information to be added to Pa. bus driver’s manual
February 16, 2012
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is in the process of including language in the agency’s school bus driver’s manual on the symptoms of traumatic brain injuries and concussions, and the procedures drivers should follow if a student sustains such an injury. Jan McKnight of PennDOT discusses with SBF what led to this change in the manual and when the new version is expected to be available.
Among Massachusetts districts, Boston spends the most to meet homeless student transportation requirements, with a projected FY 2012 cost of $760,949. Photo by Rick Berk
Homeless student busing costs Mass. districts $11M
February 15, 2012
The costs stem from the state's participation in the federal McKinney-Vento program. State Auditor Suzanne Bump calls on lawmakers to allot funding for what she found to be "an unfunded state mandate."
Special-needs conference offers half-time option
February 15, 2012
For those who can't get away for five days or want to cut costs, a half-time option is now available for the Transporting Students With Disabilities & Preschoolers conference. The offer is exclusive to those who register online between Feb. 15 and Feb. 29.
Trans Tech promotes employees
February 15, 2012
Jose Vazquez is now director of operations and Andres Garcia is director of manufacturing for the school bus manufacturer. Vazquez has five years of experience in the school bus industry, and Garcia brings more than 26 years of experience in the school bus manufacturing industry to his new position. In other news, Trans Tech has added Wolfington Body Co. to its dealer network for the state of New Jersey.
Bus driver praised for actions during shooting
February 14, 2012
Police say the driver told the students on his bus to get down out of the line of fire, he was able to leave the scene of the incident and he then called dispatchers to notify police. Although one bullet reportedly hit the bus, no one was injured.

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