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Railroad Safety Tips for School Bus Drivers

Few bus accidents could be more devastating than being hit by a train - and it does happen. While train-related accidents are rare, there have been several in the past decade. This could easily be fatal to everyone on the bus if it happens, which is why it's important that school bus drivers regularly receive railroad safety refreshers.

What are the most important aspects of railroad safety to consider? Let's take a look.

Can Electric School Buses Benefit Low Income Communities?

In the ongoing push to move towards ecologically friendly bus fleets, electric school buses are rapidly gaining traction. Modern electric buses have overcome nearly all the problems that faced them a decade ago - they're now as powerful and robust as diesel buses and can have batteries with enough capacity to serve all but the largest of rural districts.

Tennessee School Districts Forbidden From Requiring School Bus Masking

It's distressing how basic public health measures fighting COVID-19 have become heavily politicized, but the trend continues.  Following in the footsteps of states like Texas and Florida, Tennessee's governor Bill Lee recently signed an executive order (PDF) forbidding school districts from requiring masks without allowing parental opt-out. This order covers all school-related activities, even school bus masking.

Electric School Buses: Maintaining Your Fleet

As school districts look to upgrade their aging diesel bus fleets to more modern, ecologically friendly options, electric school buses are becoming an increasingly popular option. Old problems with limited power and battery life are quickly being overcome. Modern electric buses are now an entirely viable option for most districts.

One of the benefits of electric buses is that their maintenance requirements are generally lower than those of diesel buses, but it's still good to know what your district is getting into. Here's a quick overview of the differences in maintenance procedures.

Benefits of Wi-Fi and 5G for School Buses

One eternal problem with school bus rides, particularly in larger districts, is how much time they can take out of a student's day. When many students are riding for an hour or more every day, that can seriously cut into their time for studying or other academic activities.

This is why on-bus Internet access has become a major topic of school bus technology. With a combination of 5G cell service and an onboard WiFi router, a bus can provide its students with plenty of bandwidth, and encourage them to spend more time studying or doing homework while on the bus.

Can Changing Bell Times Help the School Bus Driver Shortage?

The sad reality is that the bus driver shortage isn't going away - it's only getting worse. The COVID-19 outbreak spurred a lot of people to leave bus driving for other careers or retire if that was an option. One recent study showed that 80% of districts are struggling to fulfill all their bus routes.

So it's no wonder that districts are increasingly looking for creative solutions to the driver shortage. One option that's gaining traction is changing school bell times to allow for fewer buses to run more often. 

School Bus Wi-Fi: Round 2 of FCC Funding

There's good news for districts that are looking for ways to fund a school bus Wi-Fi upgrade program. Due to overwhelming popularity, the FCC has announced a second round of funding grants to help pay for onboard Internet services!

Earlier this year, the FCC made several billion available in grants for Wi-Fi upgrades, as well as other Internet-related hardware, as part of the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF). Demand was huge, and many schools weren't able to get the money they needed. Others missed the filing deadline or had other bureaucratic issues, brought about by the ongoing disruption of COVID-19 and its variants.

Back to School 2021 - Preparing for Uncertainty

Few semesters have ever been under such a cloud of uncertainty as back to school 2021 will be. In many places, this is the first time that regular school will happen in over a year, and a lot of people are still worried about it happening smoothly.

A lot of that uncertainty is going to revolve around your school bus transportation. With the risk of COVID-19 infections still a concern, especially the new Delta variant, everyone in your district - including parents, students, and staff - needs to know that your transportation system will be ready to do its job while keeping students safe.

Hiccups in Supply Chains Affect Student Bus Transportation

School Transportation News recently posted an in-depth article talking about new challenges facing the student bus transportation industry. The various economic upheavals of 2020, spearheaded by the COVID-19 outbreak, have disrupted supply chains around the world. This is affecting manufacturers in every industry, including those involved in the creation and maintenance of school buses.

California Hits the Road With 2 Propane School Buses

Despite all the economic hurdles of the last year, districts are still finding ways to upgrade their school busses to better, cleaner options. School Bus Fleet recently reported on a California district, Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District in Napa County, which received a state grant allowing them to purchase two propane-powered buses.

At this point, it's almost inarguable that diesel-powered buses need to go away. The questions are, how to make it happen, and which alt-fuel to switch to? Currently, the major contenders for eco-friendly school buses are either propane or electric.

 

 

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