The industry veteran galvanized the Orange County (Fla.) Public Schools transportation department and implemented improvements that led to increased efficiency, multi-million-dollar savings and high staff morale.
Douglas County (Colo.) School District’s transportation department sponsored a competition between its west, east and north terminals to see which group could turn in the lowest amount of school bus engine idling time. The winning terminal cut its idling time by 50% — and won a catered lunch.
A Massachusetts contractor will pay the penalty and implement idling-reduction measures to settle U.S. EPA allegations that its school buses violated federally enforceable vehicle idling limits. Agency officials say that the company has responded quickly and has already implemented a number of the idling-reduction measures.
The federal agency selects the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the Division of Air Quality in the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources for a Clean Air Excellence Award in the Transportation Efficiency Innovations category. The program that the EPA recognizes, “Clean School Bus NC: Kids Breathe Here,” is chosen for its impact, innovation and replicability.
School bus operator North Reading Transportation will pay the penalty to settle EPA allegations that it violated federally enforceable motor vehicle idling limits in Massachusetts. EPA officials say that the company has responded quickly and has already implemented a number of idle-reduction measures.
Orange County Public Schools' combined initiative of anti-idling, biodiesel and fuel-efficient buses resulted in an overall reduction of 151,788 gallons of diesel fuel this past year. The economic benefit was a cost avoidance of $538,847 in fuel costs to the district, and the environmental benefit was a reduction of 1,503 metric tons of carbon matter output.
Pitt County Schools recently deployed GPS kits from Synovia Solutions to help parents keep tabs on their children and increase efficiency. A district-wide study found that changes like reduced idling and mileage and improved driver payroll management could save nearly $194,000 per year.
The Jefferson County, Mo., districts will receive a total of $300,000 to equip school buses with emission-reducing equipment. The funding comes from lead producer Doe Run as part of an agreement with the EPA.
Eight school districts in the state receive a total of $277,885.53 in grants to install diesel oxidation catalysts and anti-idling equipment on their school buses as part of the agency’s Clean Diesel School Bus Grant program. The next grant application deadline is March 1, and priority is given to applicants in areas that do not meet federal air quality standards for fine particulates.
Six school districts in Iowa will receive up to $38,000 in reimbursement as a match for a new school bus to replace their oldest school bus still in regular use. Another district will receive full reimbursement for retrofits. The funding is provided by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources through the EPA's Clean Diesel Campaign.
Gov. Gary Herbert declares September 2011 “Idle Free Awareness Month,” and the declaration cites the success of Utah’s school bus idling reduction program as an example for the rest of the state. Murrell Martin of the Utah State Office of Education discusses with SBF the benefits of the program since its inception in 2008.
The series of seminars, which will be held later this month and in October and are geared toward executives, as well as operation and safety directors, will provide guidance on these topics by addressing driving performance.
The president of the school bus contractor discusses with SBF her outlook on industry issues for 2011 as well as recent developments with the company.