Buses come in many shapes, sizes, and — importantly — colors, and each different type of bus has its own uses and its own set of rules and regulations.
The pupil transportation community is, of course, primarily concerned with the yellow variety of bus — namely, the school bus. But there are circumstances when non-yellow buses come into play in the transportation of students.
For instance, in some cities, older students utilize transit buses to get to and from school, sometimes with passes provided by the school district.
As another example, motorcoaches are often employed to transport students on longer activity trips, although the practice has its detractors among school bus advocates.
There are also buses that are built to school bus standards but aren’t yellow — and don’t have stop arms and flashing lights. Multifunction school activity buses (also known by the unwieldy acronym “MFSAB”) are often used for field trips, athletic excursions, and daycare transportation.
With all that in mind, if you find yourself in need of a bus that isn’t yellow, I invite you to check out BusCon. The annual extravaganza is produced by two of School Bus Fleet’s sister brands here at Bobit Business Media: Metro and Luxury Coach & Transportation.
BusCon, which is the largest bus show in North America, is a major showcase for the latest commercial buses, motorcoaches, vans, and shuttles as well as related technologies and equipment. The exhibitor list also includes manufacturers you’ll recognize from pupil transportation shows, such as Blue Bird, Micro Bird, and Thomas Built Buses, all of which will be showing commercial models.
Even if you’re not looking for non-yellow buses, BusCon offers a host of workshops that are applicable to various types of bus fleets. Here are just a few of the pertinent topics on tap: operator perspectives on electric buses, autonomous vehicles in transportation, advanced safety systems (think collision mitigation), servant leadership for the new generation, and how to diversify your business. The latter session would be particularly relevant for school bus contractors that are considering expanding into other areas of transportation.
BusCon 2018 will take place at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis from Oct. 1 to 3. Go to www.busconexpo.com for more details. If you can’t make it this year, mark the dates for 2019: Sept. 23 to 25, again in Indianapolis.
Also on the event horizon, we’re excited to launch the inaugural School Bus Fleet ConneX (SBFX) next year. The educational networking event will take place April 1 to 3 at the Hilton Miami Airport Blue Lagoon. Plans for the event include roundtable discussions, one-on-one meetings with suppliers, and networking activities.
As you may recall, for the past four years, we partnered with the National Association for Pupil Transportation on a similar event. The new event, SBFX, will be produced exclusively by School Bus Fleet and Bobit Business Media.
School bus operators who are selected to attend SBFX will be offered a hosted trip, which includes round-trip airfare, local airport transfers to and from the resort, all scheduled meals, and receptions. The SBFX 2019 application process is slated to open soon. Details are at www.schoolbusfleetconnex.com.
So whether you want to see another side of the bus world or you prefer to stick to the yellow realm, with BusCon and SBFX, we’ve got you covered.