School Bus Fleet

August 2014

A management & maintenance magazine for school transportation fleets

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33 A U G U S T 2 0 1 4 • S C H O O L B U S F L E E T 395 Fountain Avenue Painesville, OH 44077 440.639.2000 • 800.321.3674 Email: CHECK OUT OUR EXPANDED LINE OF PARTS the NEW SCHOOL BUS CATALOG is over 4 TIMES what it used to be portunity to analyze data and look at the optimization of routes, and it enables schools to better understand transportation timelines. "We work with the schools to de- termine whether we can support their [requested] times and what they are trying to accomplish. It could be that we go back and nego- tiate," Portee says. "It has defnitely allowed schools to become very sen- sitive to the transportation process and the work we have to do. … And then on our end, it has allowed us to optimize — to save money in the sense of building a product that fts within the scope of what's available with our assets and staffng." 15 GET ADMINISTRATORS IN YOUR CORNER In order to carry out some ef- fciency-related initiatives, it may be essential to educate district and school leaders on the transportation system and what will enable it to run cost-effectively. As Pace puts it, "The decision makers in the school system — up- per administration, school board — must at least philosophically accept the recommendations of the trans- portation leadership" regarding ef- fciency goals. At Denver Public Schools, the transportation department has worked hard to educate school ad- ministrators about transportation and to get their buy-in. As an example, the district has al- lowed schools to submit a request to change their bell times. Nicole Portee, executive director of trans- portation, says this provides an op- Nicole Portee, executive director of transportation at Denver Public Schools, and her staff have worked hard to educate school administrators about transportation and to get their buy-in. 14 ELIMINATE UNNEEDED BUS USE, IDLING Pace recommends establishing policies that prohibit idling and per- sonal use of buses. At Virginia Beach City Public Schools, these man- dates are monitored closely (GPS helps with this, as noted earlier), and cor- rective action is taken with drivers who violate them. "The reduction in wasted fuel costs is signifcant, given we have 650 school buses on the road each day," Pace says. Under Arizona's archives storage re- quirement, many types of documents have to be saved for a specifc number of years — some as few as two, some as long as 30. But when the documents are scanned into the cloud, Mesa can shred the paper copies and still meet the ar- chive requirements. "Once everything is scanned and maintained as our new mode of opera- tion, the distribution and access of in- formation will be timeless," Latko says. "We will save on paper, printers and, most importantly, time." school year and now works as a school transportation consultant. The bulk of the work is scanning. Four retired district staff members make up the scanning team, working part time. The department purchased 2 terabytes of cloud space and special scanners that can scan into the cloud. "The system automatically makes a backup, so we have no worries regard- ing possible loss of information," Lat- ko says. "As each type of document is scanned, we of course verify that the in- formation is really there." Once a specifc type of document — e.g., personnel fles — has all been scanned, future information is placed directly into the cloud as it is generat- ed. Different job positions have levels of access to the information in the cloud based on need. As part of the Mesa (Ariz.) Public Schools transportation department's project to go paperless, retired staff members work part time to scan documents into a cloud.

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