Thomas McMahon is executive editor of  School Bus Fleet .

Thomas McMahon is executive editor of School Bus Fleet.

As a popular folk singer once proclaimed, “The times they are a-changin’.” Sure, times are always changing, but it seems like there’s been a lot more a-changin’ in the past decade or so.

When I came to School Bus Fleet in 2002, I didn’t have a cell phone of any kind, let alone a “smart” phone. (I may have been behind the times on that one.)

Now, we have a mobile-friendly version of the School Bus Fleet website that anyone can access with a smartphone or tablet. In fact, nowadays about 40% of the visits to our website are on mobile devices.

Maybe you’re reading this on a mobile device right now. Fifteen years ago, would you have thought that you’d ever be reading a magazine on a small screen in the palm of your hand?

Of course, the print version of School Bus Fleet is still going strong, with more than 21,000 school transportation professionals getting a paper-and-ink copy of the magazine every month.

Meantime, since we started producing digital editions of each print issue several years ago, our digital circulation has flourished. We now have about 6,500 subscribers for the digital version of the magazine.

I mention this because the 2015 Canadian Fact Book is our first-ever issue that is only being produced digitally. We decided to switch the Canadian Fact Book from print to digital this year for two key reasons: to get this information-packed issue to more people, and to do it more efficiently.

We’ve been publishing an annual Canadian Fact Book for many years. If this is the first time you’re seeing it, then our digital switch is paying off.

In the effort to get our Canadian Fact Book to more people throughout Canada, we worked with about a dozen pupil transportation associations and government agencies across the country.

Those organizations graciously agreed to distribute the digital Canadian Fact Book to their members. For that, we give them our heartfelt gratitude.

If you’re new to the Canadian Fact Book, you might be particularly interested to see the exclusive Canadian pupil transportation data that we’ve collected (pg. 6). These statistics show the numbers of school buses, students transported, kilometers traveled and other pertinent details from eight provinces. Combined, these provinces operate a total of 44,469 yellow buses.

Also on the data front, we provide the latest school bus sales numbers for Canada as well as the U.S. on pg. 7. As you’ll see, Canadian school bus sales were down in all categories in the 2014 sales year, with an overall decrease of 22.3%.

Also in this issue are Canadian news stories, Canadian school bus sales, Canadian pupil transportation organization contacts, and listings for school bus manufacturers, dealers and suppliers. The goal is to provide you with a year-round resource for staying connected with the school transportation community in Canada.

Yes, the times are a-changin’, and we hope you’ll agree that the new digital Canadian Fact Book is a change for the better.

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