File photo by John Horton

File photo by John Horton

In July, the nation’s cradle of history — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — hosts the National School Transportation Association (NSTA) for its Annual Meeting and Convention and the 48th Annual School Bus Driver International Safety Competition.

Since 1964, NSTA has been a leading resource for school bus transportation solutions and the voice for private contractors, and 2018 is shaping up to be a significant year for the association.

NSTA has long been recognized as a strong and effective advocate in Washington, D.C., for the school bus industry. Its efforts on Capitol Hill have benefited every school bus operator. But this year, NSTA looked for ways to become stronger, more relevant, and more valuable for independent school bus contractors.

The efforts were real. The work was hard. The results are in: This year, NSTA has added resources, features, and member benefits that provide new, unique, and unsurpassed value for its members. So, what’s new?

1. NSTA 64 E-Newsletter

This year, NSTA expanded its periodic advocacy communications into a full-feature monthly e-newsletter, NSTA 64, compiled largely from the questions and calls received from school bus contractors. NSTA 64 guides school bus contractors with information about evolving issues and provides valuable tools, information, and resources. It’s the school bus contractor’s monthly update on what’s been happening while they have been working hard to keep buses on the road with drivers behind the wheel.  

2. NSTA Library

Also this year, NSTA compiled its existing resources into a user-friendly keyword index called the NSTA Library. Members can find all of NSTA’s information and resources about school bus issues in a new, easy-to-use format. The NSTA Library is a vital source for understanding the evolving federal laws, regulations, and issues that matter to school bus contractors. New materials are added each month.

3. Connection Zone Forum

What about state-specific issues? Now state school bus associations that are members of NSTA have formed their own special interest group within NSTA to help them connect and compare experiences about evolving issues. They meet in the online Connection Zone forum hosted by NSTA to exchange ideas and to help contractors better understand the interplay of the state and federal laws impacting school bus operations.

Maria Battista, J.D., Ed.D., is association director of the National School Transportation Association.

Maria Battista, J.D., Ed.D., is association director of the National School Transportation Association.

4. Business Counsel Program

What does your lawyer know about school buses? NSTA has engaged legal counsel experienced in school bus operations to answer member questions and to help provide guidance and direction that makes practical sense for school bus operators. Get answers to questions about driver training, driver qualifications, fitness for duty, incident response, best practices, compliance, contracts, and more, all as part of membership in NSTA.

5. Legal Focus on School Bus

Need more specific resources? Hundreds of articles about school bus operations are available in the Legal Focus on School Bus keyword index. These topics are compiled from thousands of questions and issues raised by school bus contractors. Need an authoritative source to help customers understand industry issues? The Legal Focus on School Bus keyword index is the best starting point.  

If you miss NSTA’s Annual Meeting and Convention in Philadelphia, it’s not too late to access the association’s new resources and rich history. Join as a member. Participate on a committee. Use the member resources that can help your business grow and thrive.

Connect with NSTA by phone at (703) 684-3200, by email at, or on the web at