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School Bus Contractors: CERTS Coronavirus Relief Grants Detailed

Near the end of 2020, Congress and President Trump passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which contained provisions for $2 billion in economic relief for transportation companies negatively impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.  These provisions are known as the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) grants. This was excellent news for school bus contractors, who have been suffering under the ongoing restrictions and lockdowns, along with schools being slow to reopen.

School Bus Safety: Optimizing Driver Views

When a bus stops and children are loading or unloading, you'd want to think the driver is in full control of the situation - but they aren't. Buses, by their nature, have massive blind spots which impact the driver's visibility. This is a school bus safety issue when the bus is stopped or moving, but it's a particular hazard when children are nearby or in those blind spots.

Disinfecting School Buses: Are There Long Term Effects?

When the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak hit, properly disinfecting school buses became a top priority for school districts. At a minimum, districts stepped up the use of disinfecting chemicals and products like hand sanitizer. Many even upgraded their buses, installing systems such as intense UV light systems or disinfectant sprayers which would facilitate easier cleaning.

Considering the Future of the Yellow School Bus

What's going to happen to the traditional yellow school bus in the years ahead?

Given how much the COVID-19 outbreak has shaken up industries and economies around the world, a lot of people are wondering what it means for the future of school bus transportation. Assuming that schools will eventually fully reopen and resume 'business as usual,' will there be any long term impacts on the transportation systems?

Addressing Driver Shortage: Reducing School Bus Routes

It's harder than ever for school districts to find enough drivers for their school bus routes. The driver shortage was a problem even before the COVID-19 outbreak, and now it's only gotten worse. An estimated 80% of schools are having trouble finding enough drivers, and that's a big problem when schools are legally mandated to provide transportation to their students.

School Bus Safety: Air Quality

It's been well-known for generations that pollution within cities is a problem, but it's only in recent years that we've started to realize just how bad the problem is. Pollution doesn't just poison the air and environment, but it can directly harm people as well. This has been dramatically illustrated by many recent studies which show a strong link between pollution and declining academic performance among schoolchildren.

Increase Your School Bus Drivers' Morale With Public Recognition!

There was a recent feature on STN about Tim Cribley, a Michigan school bus driver who was declared a “Bus Guardian Hero.” Cribley got a well-deserved moment in the sun. It was a chance for the school to highlight the great work he’d done for the district. 

So, why doesn’t this happen more often?

School Bus Transportation in 2021

These are chaotic times for school districts and school bus transportation managers. Between the ongoing driver shortage and all the disruption caused by COVID-19, it's easy to feel like things are getting a bit out of control.

Well, take heart, because you're not alone. Recently, HopSkipDrive conducted an extensive survey (PDF) of school districts across the country. The questions were centered on the problems they're facing, and what they consider to be the most pressing issues at the moment.

Operational Optimization: Planning Ahead

When school districts want to - or need to - reduce the costs of their transportation system, one of the best options is to optimize their bus routes. It's rare for a district to have perfect route optimization, and just about any updates they can make will result in cost savings down the road. In best cases, they may even be able to entirely eliminate one or more routes, drastically reducing costs as well as reducing the harm done by the ongoing school bus driver shortage.

Indiana Works to Improve School Bus Stop Safety

We recently came across a short article from School Transportation News discussing Indiana's plans to expand usage, penalties, and enforcement of stop-arm cameras on their school buses.

There's no doubt that illegal passing is one of the biggest threats to school bus safety, as well as the safety of its passengers. Children are most at risk when entering or leaving the bus, so it makes sense that this would be a focus. But are stop-arm cameras the best solution

 

 

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