Category Archives: School.Bus

Merger talks: Busing plan gets second look

Source: Al Bruce, Evening Tribune, November 18, 2014

Comments of concerned parents about how long their children might ride buses on wintry roads in a potential three-school merger may spark a new transportation plan. Arkport Superintendent Dr. Glenn P. Niles told school board members last week that consultants directing the study of the proposed merger of Alfred-Almond, Arkport and Canaseraga districts agreed to contact Transportation Advisory Services (TAS) about how to shorten pupil bus rides in the potentially merged district….

More Michigan school buses flunk safety inspections

Source: Francis X. Donnelly, Detroit News, November 17, 2014
[editor’s note: the database includes the school bus operator and it can be filtered by individual company]

…The latest yearly inspections by the Michigan State Police found small, rural school districts were experiencing the most problems with their buses during the 2013-14 school year….By contrast, the statewide failure rate was just over 10 percent, though the rate rose for the second straight year.
The districts blamed their high failure rates on aging fleets and the lack of money to replace them…. After an inspection, buses are placed in one of three categories: pass, yellow or red. Yellow means the vehicle is safe to operate but its problems need to be fixed within 60 days. An example of such a problem is a broken hood latch. Red means the problem is so severe the bus must be taken off the road immediately and cannot return until it is corrected. Examples range from missing fire extinguishers to weak brakes….

Bus driver charged in fatality says she was unaware she hit someone

Source: Rebecca Elliott, Houston Chronicle, October 17, 2014

The school bus driver charged in the hit-and-run that killed a bicyclist in southeast Houston on Wednesday did not know she hit someone, her attorney said Friday. Phyllis Ann Booker, 54, appeared in court for a brief hearing following her arrest in the death of bicyclist Bobby Brooks, 56, for which she was charged with failure to stop and render aid. “She didn’t realize she was involved in an accident and hit anything or anyone, which is why she continued on her bus route,” Booker’s attorney, James Alston, told reporters following the hearing. “She didn’t realize anything had happened.” Prosecutors told state District Judge Renee Magee that Booker denied hitting anything on her route. Brooks was killed at about 6:30 a.m Wednesday. Booker was driving for First Student, a national bus company with a Houston office just south of the site of the accident, 9000 Airport Blvd. She has been a driver for the company for about three years and did her regular route Wednesday morning, making approximately six stops to pick up students, Alston said. ….

New York’s RFP law for school bus contracts now permanent

Source: School Bus Fleet, September 11, 2014

New York Sen. John Flanagan (left) worked on making the state’s RFP law permanent with the New York School Bus Contractors Association, including board member Phil Vallone, owner of Rolling V Transportation Services. New York’s request for proposal (RFP) law for school transportation contracts is now permanent, meaning it will no longer have to be approved every five years by the State Legislature….

First Student, Mile Square Transportation partner to serve New York districts

Source: School Bus Fleet, August 25, 2014

First Student Inc. and Mile Square Transportation, a yellow school bus service in lower Westchester County, New York, announced a joint venture to provide student transportation services in the Hudson Valley, Westchester and Bronx areas in New York under the name First Mile Square LLC. The new venture will build on Mile Square’s customer relationships, existing fleet and staff and First Student’s safety practices, training programs and scalable resource model. First Mile Square will continue to be based in Yonkers, and Mile Square President Horacio Rodriguez will maintain a senior leadership role in the new venture. …

Fort Lee woman killed by school bus in Leonia

Source: Stefanie Dazio and Jim Norman, The Record, August 7, 2014

A Fort Lee woman and café owner, beloved as “the mother for everybody” in her neighborhood, was killed by a school bus Thursday morning as she crossed Broad Avenue at Fort Lee Road, and police have issued summonses to the driver. … Leonia Police Chief Thomas Rowe said at a late afternoon media conference that bus driver Esperanza Jaramillo, 54, of Tenafly was issued motor-vehicle summonses for careless driving, failure to yield to a pedestrian who had the right of way, and for driving a vehicle with badly worn tires. … The school bus, owned by Rainbow Transportation Inc. of Bergenfield, was removed from the scene and impounded for further investigation into the possibility of equipment violations other than the worn tires, Rowe said. Calls made to the company were unreturned Thursday. …

Dad: School bus aides left autistic son at wrong home

Source: Jim Walsh, Courier Post, August 7, 2014

A father wants better training for school bus drivers and aides after his autistic son mistakenly was dropped off and left alone at a neighbor’s home. Stuart Chaifetz says his 12-year-old son, Akian, spent an estimated 15 minutes “confused and alone” before the occupant returned from walking her dog … The father released a YouTube video calling for action by Gov. Chris Christie and state legislators and berating Bellmawr-based Holcomb Bus Co. …. “It’s just mind-boggling that these drivers and aides are so ill-prepared for the job,” Chaifetz said in an interview. …

OSHA fines Baer Buses for “health” violation

Source: Jim Hook, Public Opinion News, August 6, 2014

A bus company owned by Daniel J. Baer has been fined for two alleged health violations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration on July 3 levied $1,800 in fines against Baer Buses Inc., 8766 Wayne Highway, Waynesboro, according to OSHA online reports. OSHA, responding to a complaint on May 15, issued two citations for “serious” health violations, each affecting about 20 employees. Baer Buses is one of three companies hired by the Waynesboro Area School District to provide regular bus transportation to students living in the Waynesboro Area School District. … In a separate action, Baer was convicted Monday on 48 counts of animal cruelty. Magisterial District Judge Kelly Rock prohibited him from owning a dog for 12 years, but did not levy a fine or order jail time. Baer Buses is one of six Pennsylvania school and employee bus companies cited for health or safety violations in the past five years in Pennsylvania, according to OSHA records. …

Report advises Warrensburg Central School to consider outside transportation service

Source: Michael Goot, Post-Star, August 3, 2014

he Warrensburg Central School District needs to improve the operation of its transportation department or consider outsourcing the program entirely, a consultant’s report recommends. “Although we prefer that the district remain as a district-operated transportation system, we believe that outsourcing should be considered if substantive changes cannot be made to the program,” the report from Transportation Advisory Services states. Among the consultant’s recommendations are to pay the bus drivers an hourly wage instead of a per trip fee, and attempt to negotiate items out of the next contract such as six personal days and family insurance coverage for drivers in retirement. … Many of the recommendations involve items that would have to be negotiated with the CSEA union, according to Goralski.