News

South Carolina Lawmakers Override Governor’s Veto on School Bus Funding
With the state legislature’s vote, $20.5 million is now available for hundreds of new school buses across the state. More than 1,500 of the state’s 5,582 buses are more than 20 years old.

2 Arrested in School Bus Battery Thefts in North Carolina
In Randolph County, one man is charged with stealing batteries from buses at four schools, while another man is charged with the same crime at another school.

Reminder: Applications Now Being Accepted for School Bus eXchange
School bus operators can still apply to take part in the next SBX educational networking event.

Concerns Raised Over Proposed Maryland School Bus Inspection Bill
Senate Bill 44 would require public school bus owners to comply with certain federal inspection standards. A school board worries it might lead to roadside checks and stops at weigh stations.

Rooster Greets Girl at School Bus Stop
Frog the rooster gains fame for a viral video in which it makes a mad dash for the school bus, ready to “pick up” its owner.

New VP of Operations Named for Trans Group Subsidiary
Patti Royce-Moser is promoted at Educational Bus in New York. She has been a longtime routing coordinator with the company.

Canadian Pupil Transportation Conference to Return in 2018
The event, held every two years, will take place in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Sessions will cover such topics as school bus technology, emissions standards, and the changing labor market.

District Stands by School Bus Driver Who Wouldn’t Let Students Exit Bus
A Florida bus driver who refused to let students deboard until medical help arrived for an injured student despite parents’ demands was following policy, district officials say.

Running the Numbers, in Air Quality and School Buses
Wildfire smoke spurred me to start checking an air quality index. The data-driven experience brought to mind how, more than ever, numbers are readily available to track pupil transportation performance.

Special-Needs Transportation Expert Pete Meslin to Join School Bus Consultants
As a consultant with the TransPar Group, Meslin says he will work to help school districts “serve students better and less expensively.”

New York District Launches Tablets, Ridership Tracking Technology
Saratoga Springs City School District adds Tyler Drive, which provides directions and other route and ridership information. The system also includes a parent portal.

New York Bills Would Tighten Drug and Alcohol Testing for School Bus Drivers
The New York Association for Pupil Transportation supports the legislation, which responds to instances of school bus driver DUIs.

Zonar Adds Law Enforcement Veteran to Compliance Team
Ron Cordova, Zonar’s newest compliance manager, has nearly 25 years of experience in commercial vehicle safety.

Lap-Shoulder Belted Seat
The new SafeGuard FlexPlus school bus seat includes features designed to enhance safety.

School Bus Driver Honored for Helping Student in Medical Emergency
Regina Shealy of Florida is presented with an award and recognized on social media for helping a student on her bus who became unresponsive.

Thomas Built Buses Offers ‘Facts About Fuels’ Educational Materials
The school bus OEM’s new campaign presents information about various fuel options, focusing on advancements in diesel.

Trials by Fire: California Wildfires and the Iowa School Bus Tragedy
Let’s hope that NTSB will eventually be able to shed light on what caused the Iowa school bus fire and what kept the driver and student from escaping. The latter question is extremely troubling.

Alabama District Offering Bonuses to Attract School Bus Drivers
New drivers for Tuscaloosa City Schools will receive a $1,000 signing bonus. The district is also offering bonuses for good attendance and a clean driving record.

Private Equity Firm to Acquire Safe Fleet
Oak Hill Capital Partners will be the new owner of Safe Fleet, whose brands provide a variety of equipment for school buses.

NAPT News & Views — Blue Jeans and Yellow School Buses
According to NAPT's executive director, if, as Giorgio Armani once said, “Jeans represent democracy in fashion,” then school buses are their educational equivalent.

New York Governor Calls for Steeper Stop-Arm Fines, VW Funds for School Buses
Cuomo’s 2018 agenda includes initiatives to address illegal passing, replacement of old buses, and bullying.

School Bus Driver Gets Jail Time for Student’s Death
In 2016, a Massachusetts student was dragged and then run over by Tendzin Parsons’ bus. Parsons is sentenced to a year in jail after pleading guilty to negligent motor vehicle homicide.

No One Injured as School Bus Window Shot Out
Authorities in Forest City, Iowa, say that a pellet gun shattered a window on the bus while it was transporting students. A suspect has been charged.

IC Bus Honors Top Dealers for 2017
Seven dealers win the bus manufacturer’s Pursuit of Excellence award, and Mid-State Truck Service Inc. wins the Diamond Dealer award.

5 Questions: Barry Sudduth on Professional Development, Driver Shortage
Barry Sudduth discusses his goals as president of NAPT and his work at Virginia's Stafford County Public Schools.

Student With Autism Reportedly Left on School Bus
The 3-year-old Indiana boy is reportedly left behind for nearly five hours. The substitute driver who is apparently involved is suspended while the incident is investigated.

New York School Bus Driver Honored for Response to Bus Fire
The New York School Bus Contractors Association presents a new award to First Student’s Bobby DeLee, who evacuated his passengers after smelling smoke.

Special-Needs School Bus Driver Charged With DUI
Karen Kawa of Illinois is about to pick up students when a special-needs assistant notices that she is acting unusual. A blood alcohol test allegedly shows Kawa has a level of 0.231.

School Bus Driver Remembered for Dedication to Students While Battling Cancer
Even after she was diagnosed with the disease, Deanna Stallones kept driving and serving as a role model for students at Bellville ISD in Texas.

Ohio District Puts Premium on Student Safety, Driver Training
Working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and local police and fire departments, the South-Western City School District’s transportation department places an emphasis on training drivers to keep students safe.

Mirror, Backup Camera System
The new MOR-Vision convex series is engineered to improve the safety of reverse operations by providing a wider field of view, according to Rosco Vision Systems.

South Carolina School Bus Catches Fire, No One Hurt
The engine of the 1995 model bus catches fire about 15 minutes after dropping off students. No students are aboard, and the driver gets out of the bus safely.

Daimler Buses, Rev Group Team Up in North America
Daimler AG’s bus division awards Rev Coach LLC the North American sales rights for the Setra motorcoach brand.

8 Technology Offerings to Simplify Transportation Tasks
Software that streamlines data collection, onboard Wi-Fi, fuel efficiency products, and an artificial intelligence-powered child-check device are just some of the options to look for in 2018. Also, on the horizon: wearable tech for drivers.

School Bus Drivers Use Their Cars to Alert Students About School Start Delay
The Massachusetts drivers are instructed to drive their routes and advise students of a school start delay when some buses fail to run in the cold.

Small-Diameter Brushes
The Micro-Bore and Valve-Guide Brush Sets, eight-piece sets of small-diameter brushes in stainless steel and brass, are designed for convenient cleaning of tubes, bores, valve guides, and more.

Reminder: Take Part in School Bus Fleet’s Special-Needs Survey
The survey covers such topics as student ridership, driver pay, and special-needs bus equipment.

Alabama District Orders 44 Propane School Buses From IC Bus
Franklin County Schools expects the propane buses to positively impact the environment while reducing operating costs.

Setting a Course for Safe Use of Mobile Data Terminals
Driver tablets, GPS units, and similar devices present potential benefits as well as safety concerns. Here are the emerging issues and the guidance thus far.

School Bus Driver Teaches Chess to Students
Donald Harris of Texas learns to play the game as he reaches out to one student on his bus. Now, he teaches several students to play in the cafeteria at lunch.

Lighted Warning Signs Approved for Use on Michigan School Buses
The newly passed legislation allows school buses to be equipped with an electronic sign that alerts other drivers when the bus stops.

Solution Designed to Prevent Mold, Rust
BESI now offers Damp Check, which can pull excess moisture from the air in a school bus or other areas.

JVCKenwood to Acquire Relay Systems Developer Radio Activity
Italy-based Radio Activity supplies relay systems compatible with DMR-compliant digital radios.

PERC Points to Growth in Propane School Buses
According to the Propane Education & Research Council, there are now more than 13,000 propane autogas school buses on U.S. roads.

VIDEO: Jouley Electric School Bus Walk-Around
Take a look around Thomas Built Buses’ first-generation Saf-T-Liner C2 electric bus, Jouley.

VIDEO: Thomas Built Buses Shares ‘Facts About Fuels’
The school bus OEM highlights the efficiency, reliability, and reduced emissions of today’s diesel engines.

New York School Bus Contractors Name Legislator of the Year
State Sen. Jeff Klein is recognized for supporting safe student transportation and tougher penalties for passing stopped school buses.

Editors’ Picks 2017: Photo Galleries of the Year
School Bus Fleet’s standout web content in 2017 included these shots of pupil transportation teams responding to hurricanes.

Top 5 Likes/Reactions on SBF’s Facebook Page in 2017
Stories on a cash incentive based on attendance, a principal/substitute bus driver studying for his doctorate, and an accident that hospitalized students and a bus driver drew the most attention on the popular social media platform this year. 

Franklin Tackles Critical Transportation Issues
At Atlanta Public Schools, John Franklin has led a turnaround that has bolstered bus reliability while boosting staff and public relations.

VIDEO: Meet Jouley, the Electric School Bus
An introduction to Thomas Built Buses’ first-generation Saf-T-Liner C2 electric bus, Jouley.

Weather Data Service
Baron Weather API for Fleet, a range of weather data that can be integrated into network fleet platforms, is designed for fleet management tracking platforms, transportation management systems for pre-planning, and mobile driver applications.

Aide Accused of Leaving Student on School Bus
Venecia Bisono of New York is arrested after allegedly leaving a 4-year-old on a school bus for six hours. She is charged with failure to exercise control of a minor and reckless endangerment.

Santa Spreads Christmas Cheer at the Wheel of a School Bus
Carroll Bailey of Greenville County (S.C.) Schools dons a Santa suit and hands out holiday treats as he delivers kids to school.

Top 5 Most-Viewed News Stories of 2017
News that drew the most traffic on the School Bus Fleet website this year covered an attendance-based cash incentive, Collins’ new low-floor bus, and student fatalities in the danger zone.  

Top 5 Most-Viewed Feature Articles of 2017
Feature articles that drew the most traffic on the School Bus Fleet website in 2017 included tips on buying a used school bus and an immigrant’s journey from cab driver to running a school bus company.

Editor’s Picks 2017: Videos of the Year
A demonstration of virtual reality technology used in training and a PSA with kids playing motorists who passed stopped school buses were among SBF’s web highlights in 2017.

Zonar Named a ‘Best Place to Work'
The supplier is the bronze winner of the 2017 Best in Biz Awards for Best Place to Work in the medium companies category.

Medical Examiner: Iowa School Bus Fatalities Caused by Fire, Smoke
The state medical examiner finds that the driver and the student on board both died from “smoke and soot inhalation and thermal injuries” in the Dec. 12 school bus fire.

Bus Driver Charged in Fatal Crash With Train in France
Authorities file preliminary charges of manslaughter and involuntary injury against the driver. Six students were killed in the crash.

New York Clears Contracted School Bus Drivers to Use EpiPens
School bus drivers who work for contractors in the state can now administer epinephrine auto-injectors for students who have allergy attacks.

Prosecutors Allege School Bus Driver in Fatal Tennessee Crash Was on Phone
New information indicates that the driver in the November 2016 Chattanooga crash took a phone call at the time, prosecutors say.

Mayor, District Official Tour Durham School Bus Facility
Harrisonville, Missouri, Mayor Brian Hasek says he was enlightened “about all the work that goes into getting our students to school safely.”

PHOTOS: School Transporters Celebrate the Season
Fun holiday activities abound, including festively decorated school buses shown off in parades, stuff-the-bus campaigns for those in need, and snow sculpture, to name a few.

School Bus Operator Go Riteway Awarded for Clean Fuel Use
The contractor is named a Clean Fuel Champion by Wisconsin Clean Cities.

School Transportation Professionals Make the Holidays Special
This time of year, there are so many examples of pupil transporters giving time and other resources to help students and families in need.

School Bus Dealer Launches Charity Initiative, Donates to Food Banks
Leonard Bus Sales of New York’s “Giving Thanks and Giving Back” includes a program that provides meals to children in need, a holiday canned food drive, and annual direct contributions to food banks.  

6 Students Killed in Bus-Train Crash in France
At issue in the investigation is whether the safety barriers at the railroad crossing were open or closed when the bus moved onto the tracks.

IC Bus Extends Standard 7-Year Warranty on Allison Transmissions
The warranty continues to cover all buses with Allison 2300/2350/2500/2550 Pupil Transport Series (PTS) transmissions for the 2018 calendar year.

Like Sales Numbers, School Bus Options Are on the Rise
Consider this contrast: SBF's 2018 Fact Book listings include 10 school bus body manufacturers. Ten years ago, only six of those companies were in the market.

School Bus Trainer Mentored Illinois District’s Drivers, Students
As a driver and as an instructor, Jill Winger found effective ways to connect with passengers and address difficult behavior. She retires on Friday.

High School Student Dubbed Hero for Helping Driver in School Bus Crash
Trey Halfhill of Kentucky helps a school bus driver after a crash that turned the bus on its side. He enters the bus and keeps the driver calm.

California Pupil Transportation Veteran Retires After 31 Years
Donna Anderson, a transportation programs consultant for the state Department of Education for the last seven years, started out as a school bus driver.

School Bus Sales See Another Increase in 2017
North American school bus sales grow for the sixth year in a row. The 2017 total of 44,389 units is the highest mark in more than 10 years.

Ohio School Bus Team Gathers Goods for Families in Need
Parma City School District’s “Stuff the Bus” event collects gifts, clothes, and other items for hundreds of families.

Near Miss When Commercial Van Reportedly Passes Stopped School Bus
The van is shown on video apparently passing the bus illegally just before two elementary school students cross in front of it in the Pennsylvania incident.

Iowa School Bus Fire Claims Driver, Student
The school bus driver and one student were the only occupants. Authorities say it appears that the driver had backed into a ditch when the fire broke out.

Minnesota Prosecutor Seeks Jail Time for Stop-Arm Runners
James Brue, a county attorney, has put two people in jail for a weekend and fined them $285 since the beginning of the school year, noting that education efforts don’t seem to be effective.

School Bus Driver Shares the Funniest Thing Heard on Her Bus
When it comes to amusing anecdotes, the standout from Lynn Maw’s bus was an encounter with a kindergartner. As kids often do, this young passenger disregarded political correctness.

Allison Transmission Promotes Global Marketing Director
Otto Szalavari is named managing director of global marketing for Allison, which supplies transmissions for school buses and other vehicles.

Photo Gallery: Crack Up at Our Latest School Bus Cartoons
SBF’s monthly “BUSting Up” cartoon targets the humorous side of pupil transportation. The June through December 2017 entries cover “green” buses, budget woes, and a giant stop arm.

NASDPTS Updates 2 School Bus Safety Publications
The state directors’ organization releases recommendations on using school buses instead of full-size vans and maintaining safety compliance of school bus components.

School Bus Driver Battling Cancer Gets Marching Band Tribute
A Maine high school marching band and a convoy of school buses wish Jamie Creamer a speedy recovery during his chemotherapy treatment.

Daimler Trucks North America Launches 3-D Printing for Parts
The parent company of Thomas Built Buses says it sees 3-D printing as a better way to provide rare parts when customers need them.

Gun Discovered on School Bus in Florida
Authorities say that the weapon was unloaded, and the 7-year-old who brought it on the bus apparently had no malicious intent.

Student Struck, Injured After Exiting School Bus
A 12-year-old in Florida steps off her bus and is hit by a motorist who flees the scene but is later arrested.

Safety Issues Found With Unmarked Charter School Bus
The Michigan school bus, which had raised suspicion when it tried to pick up students in October, was driven without valid proof of insurance or registration, and had several mechanical issues.

OPW Unveils Petro Vend 200 Fuel Island Terminal
The new terminal offers modular options that make it scalable for a wide range of unattended fueling needs, according to OPW.

Los Angeles District Orders 2 Electric School Buses
The largest school district in California is adding the GreenPower Synapse 72 electric school buses to its fleet with state funding.

1 Student Killed in School Bus Crash in Georgia
A 5-year-old girl dies and more than 20 students are injured when their bus runs off the road and hits a tree, authorities say.

Special-Needs School Bus Driver Honored by State
Pam Thompson is recognized as the 2017-18 Oklahoma Special-Needs Bus Driver of the Year.

Aide Accused of Assaulting Special-Needs Student
Hyung Lee of Virginia is charged with assaulting a 12-year-old boy with autism on his bus in two separate incidents in October.

Blue Bird Names Dana Supplier of the Year
Dana provides the school bus OEM with a range of drivetrain solutions, including Spicer axles, driveshafts, and end yokes.

The School Bus Serves as Source of Inspiration for Poetry
Pupil transportation consultant — and former English teacher — George Horne has penned numerous poems about the yellow bus world and the people who inhabit it.

VIDEO: BusWise Boosts Bus Maintenance
Thomas Built’s BusWise Technologies platform provides real-time vehicle information, alerts on maintenance issues, and other features to enhance school bus serviceability.

New York School Bus Drivers OK Contract After Strike
Drivers will receive more pay, sick leave, and increased retirement plan contributions in the new contract with Baumann & Sons Buses.

Contractor Group Supports Dedicated Bus Lane on New York Bridge
The New York School Bus Contractors Association calls for school buses to be included in a proposed bus lane for the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.

Propane Council Adds 6 Videos Highlighting Benefits
The Propane Education & Research Council’s online “Straight Talk” video series features pupil transporters and other fleet owners discussing the alternative fuel’s advantages.

New Blue Bird Dealer Named in Virginia Market
The school bus OEM’s dealership representation in Virginia recently transitioned from Carter Machinery to Blue Bird Bus Sales of Virginia.

EPA to Demonstrate New Grant Application Process
A pair of webinars will provide training on Workspace, which will be required for grant applicants starting Jan. 1.