The national director of grassroots community nonprofit Chispa discusses its advocacy of electric school buses in low-income communities and communities of color, which are most impacted by transportation pollution.
The 2020-21 school year underwent constant shifts and challenges courtesy of COVID-19. Although surveys reflect worsening driver shortage, respondents also said CARES Act funds have helped them hang on.
Mentors, industry involvement, opportunities for growth, and creating an encouraging environment that helps cultivate confidence are key to female employees’ advancement, experts say.
Terry, the director of transportation at Orangeburg County (S.C.) School District, discusses providing material and emotional support during the pandemic, and frustration with motorists passing stopped school buses even with the presence of stop-arm cameras.
Momentum is growing to return to full operation. For pupil transporters, that means addressing potentially greater driver shortage, factoring in the added responsibilities of sanitizing the buses — possibly as a permanent practice — and returning to managing more staff members in person.
As more schools return to full in-person instruction, shortages may be exacerbated. Close relationships with neighboring districts, advance planning, and using routing software and combining stops by increasing walking distance can help.
Two school districts and one bus company weigh in on lessons learned during operation. They recommend planning to expand infrastructure, keeping range and charging in mind, and prioritizing driver training.
The new executive director of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services emphasizes the need to acknowledge the changes that the pandemic has brought to student transportation and imparts leadership advice to those new to the industry.
Despite the challenges we still face brought about by COVID-19, school bus fleet electrification just keeps ramping up. Meanwhile, there is new leadership at one of the top national pupil transportation associations.
Whether through advocacy or technology, in easy or tough times, success comes down to the incredibly dedicated people of this industry to bring us beyond hope and help all schoolchildren safely access an education every day.
Gillis, the transportation director for Everman (Texas) Independent School District, discusses the district’s integration of electric buses, what safety measures his department has deployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and why he wishes more people would consider a bus driving career.
In this Q and A, Dominion Energy’s Dan Weekley talks about fleet integration plans and dollar and power savings from vehicle-to-grid technology. Meanwhile, Thomas Built Buses offers tips for partnering with a power company.
The Florida transportation director sprang into action when the pandemic hit, forging invaluable connections with her employees. She has also significantly improved safety and attendance.
Although COVID-19 was unforeseen, we have seen bus sales drop even further — although more gradually — during the Great Recession and recovery, and they bounced back.
Operations nationwide get creative this season amid pandemic restrictions, with decorated buses and trees, virtual student participation in a parade, and story time with "Santa."