CHAMPION, Pa. — A new program is providing grants to help Pennsylvania school bus operators launch initiatives to bolster safety.

Keystone Insurers Group and the Pennsylvania School Bus Association (PSBA) partnered this year to start offering the annual grant, which provides winners with up to $30,000 to put toward improving the safety of fleet operations or services for employees or students.

“Judging of all 14 applications and scoring for the grant was extremely competitive,” PSBA Executive Director Michael Berk said. “The proposals we received showed ingenuity, creativity, and our members’ ongoing commitment to the safe transportation of our students."

Winners of the first Keystone/PSBA Safety Grant were announced at the association’s annual conference at Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Champion on June 24. Here are the winners, along with details on their proposed safety initiatives:

Fred and LeeAnn Kline, Allegheny Transportation, Aetna, Pennsylvania. Allegheny Transportation proposed a mascot, Gus the Goose, to minimize injuries by helping students remember safety rules in videos, school appearances, and signs on the bus.

John Polli, Reliance Student Transportation, York, Pennsylvania. Reliance Student Transportation proposed the installation of electronic child-check units in passenger vans to minimize the chances of a child being left in a van.

Lea Newcomer, F&S Transportation, York, Pennsylvania. F&S Transportation proposed creating an eco-friendly driver simulator for new and seasoned drivers to test skills in real-world environments while saving on fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

Grant winners will get a chance to showcase their efforts during the following year’s PSBA conference.

“Safety is the utmost importance in transporting students to school, and we recognized the opportunity to enhance both awareness and contractor operations through a safety grant,” said Brian Brusoski, senior vice president of property and casualty with Keystone. “Giving operators a chance to select their initiatives was unique, effective, and will inspire other operators in future years.”

Bill Moore, owner of Moore School Bus, won the Pennsylvania School Bus Association’s Bus Stops Here Award.

Bill Moore, owner of Moore School Bus, won the Pennsylvania School Bus Association’s Bus Stops Here Award.

In other PSBA news, Moore School Bus owner Bill Moore won the association’s Bus Stops Here Award at the conference in Champion. The award recognizes members who have made significant contributions to PSBA.

Moore School Bus, located in Apollo, Pennsylvania, has been transporting students since 1947. Bill Moore has been a member of PSBA since the association’s inception in 1980. He has served in a number of roles as a board member and officer, including president from 1996 to 1998.

“Bill was the president of the association through a difficult time period in the nineties,” said PSBA Past President Randy Smith, who nominated Moore for the award. “He has stayed active ever since, serving on numerous committees of the PSBA. He has supported the PSBA Safety Competition … serving as a judge on the railroad crossing. I consider him a good friend and mentor and was proud to nominate him for the Bus Stops Here Award.”

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