School Bus Fleet

August 2014

A management & maintenance magazine for school transportation fleets

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31 A U G U S T 2 0 1 4 • S C H O O L B U S F L E E T Your Safe Seating Specialists Distributors For: E-Z-ON Safety/Max Vests Cam Harnesses BESI Pro Tech III Universal/Moore Vests Over the Shoulder Harnesses Q'STRAINT/SURE-LOK Wheelchair Occupant Restraint Systems SPECIALISTS IN: All Seat Covers and Foam Special Needs Seating 3 Point/Integrated Bus Seats 1.800.543.0575 l 10939B Reed Hartman Hwy. l Cincinnati, OH • In addition to additional years, the goal is to get 350,000 to 400,000 more miles with the bus. • All of the body work is subject to New York State Depart- ment of Transportation (DOT) inspections. • The district focuses on maintaining a DOT inspection rating of over 90%. Coxen notes that Brewster's success rate has increased in the past fve years. Its fve-year av- erage is 92.7%, and its latest available score, for the 2012- 13 school year, was 94.3%. "Finding a body shop that can deal with buses and the demands of the safety standards and tolerances of New York State is a challenge," Coxen notes. "We use our Inter- national [IC Bus] and Blue Bird dealers and a couple of lo- cal shops we have cultivated for this task." 11 OPTIMIZE BELL TIMES, BUS TIERS Many school districts have tapped into transportation effciencies by adjusting school bell schedules. Virginia Beach City Public Schools operates on a four-tier bell schedule, which allows the trans- portation department to use the same buses for four or more routes. "While this was an ambitious undertaking, it has proven to be one of the major components of the effciency rating for our division," Pace says. "Also, it is important to have fexibility in de- termining the operating hours of any new pro- grams that are approved for service. If these pro- grams can operate during off-use times, existing resources can be used, thereby avoiding addi- tional capital outlay and personnel costs." Nancy Farinella, transportation supervisor at Green Brook (N.J.) Township Public Schools, ad- vises working with administrators to adjust bell times in order to tier routes more effciently. An- other routing effciency idea that Farinella rec- ommends is gathering students in one location and adding shuttles or feeder routes. Litchfeld Elementary School District #79 ad- justed its bell times two years ago to improve customer service and reduce the number of bus- es needed each day. "Prior to adjusting our times, we had 38 gen- eral-ed and 18 special-needs routes," Walker says. "By adjusting our bell times, we were able to reduce to 27 general-ed routes and 17 special-needs routes, while our district is growing drastically." Nancy Farinella, transportation supervisor at Green Brook (N.J.) Township Public Schools, advises working with administra- tors to adjust bell times in order to tier routes more effciently.

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