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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.
Report: traffic fatalities in 2010 hit record-breaking low
December 12, 2011
Updated data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that highway deaths fell to 32,885 last year — the lowest level since 1949. Among other key findings in the report are that fatalities declined in most categories in 2010, and the agency also details its new measure of fatalities related to distracted driving, called “distraction-affected crashes.”
Ohio district to use Versatrans product suite
December 12, 2011
Tyler Technologies has signed an agreement with Columbus City Schools to provide the district with its student transportation management solution. In addition to the core routing and planning product, the district selects many other Versatrans applications, including Onscreen for GPS and Triptracker.
NTSB to meet on fatal Mo. school bus crash
December 9, 2011
The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a meeting on Tuesday to determine the probable cause and consider proposed safety recommendations. In the August 2010 accident in Gray Summit, a school bus struck the back of a pickup truck and then was struck by another school bus. Two teens were killed.
Woman arrested, charged in fatal stop-arm passing
December 8, 2011
No bond is set for the 51-year-old motorist who is accused of striking and killing a 17-year-old as she left her school bus on Tuesday. The district attorney says that the court “is concerned with the mental status of this client.”
In an extended veto session last week, the Illinois General Assembly failed to restore school transportation funds that were cut by Gov. Pat Quinn. Photo by Daniel Schwen
$89M cut to Ill. school transportation stands
December 8, 2011
The Illinois General Assembly fails to restore the funds, cut by Gov. Pat Quinn, in an extended veto session last week. But state pupil transportation director Cinda Meneghetti tells SBF that salaries were restored for personnel at Regional Offices of Education, which perform services including school bus driver training.
The California Association of School Transportation Officials has worked with education agencies in the state to urge legislators to repeal a proposed $248 million "trigger cut" to school transportation.Photo by Wikipedia user Coolcaesar
Calif. groups fight proposed $248M cut to school transportation
December 8, 2011
The California Association of School Transportation Officials partners with education groups in contacting legislators to urge them to repeal the cut and inform them of the negative impact it would have. Mike Rea, government relations chairperson for the association, discusses these efforts with SBF.
Lighting film adheres to many surfaces, has low profile
December 8, 2011
Grote Industries' new LightForm Emergency Egress Lighting Film features LED lighting technology to enhance vehicle safety. It can conform to the shape and contours of virtually any door or exit, and it can't shatter, according to the company.
Tags: lighting
Drivers asked to remove Christmas decorations on buses
December 8, 2011
The company that the drivers work for receives an e-mail from the transportation agency it serves stating that using decorated buses is not allowed under a policy that has been in place for many years.
District provides free transit passes for high schoolers
December 7, 2011
Portland (Ore.) Public Schools students in grades 9 through 12 will continue to receive TriMet passes through June 14, 2012, under an agreement that was announced on Monday. Passes had been set to expire in December due to lack of funds, but TriMet, the city of Portland and the district contributed money to close the funding gap.

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