School Bus Fleet

November 2014

A management & maintenance magazine for school transportation fleets

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55 N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 4 • S C H O O L B U S F L E E T Rising fuel costs continue to drain school budgets. Excessive idling can increase costs by as much as 50%. Webasto can help you eliminate this wastefulness, saving much needed transportation funds. Webasto coolant heaters get to work before drivers do, pre-heating the engine, eliminating cold starts, and warming the bus interior. Webasto Idle Reduction Technology: n Saves fuel and eliminates the need to idle during normal routes n Stops white smoke at engine start-up and eliminates diesel knock n Pre-heats the engine to eliminate cold starts and extend engine life n Provides supplemental interior heating n Reduces maintenance costs associated with emission control devices n Shown by independent testing to signifcantly reduce emissions in BOTH warm and cold weather n 877-9NO-IDLE Webasto Can Help Reduce Fuel Costs and Improve Air Quality Photo courtesy of MPCA (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency) standards. China has experienced unprecedent- ed growth in automobile traffc. For example, in the 1970s most people in China traveled by bicycle, motor scoot- er or motorbike. There were approxi- mately 5,000 automobiles, all owned by the Chinese government. Fast-forward to this year. China has about 260 million automobiles on its roads; nearly 55,000 vehicles are regis- tered per day, adding to the congestion on the nation's highways. China's road infrastructure sys- tem cannot accommodate the traffc, and they cannot build thoroughfares quickly enough to meet their needs. Even if they could build bridges, over- passes and highways at warp speed, consumer demand has exceeded their construction capabilities due to the sheer number of Chinese people who own cars now and those who will own cars in the future. The number of new drivers adds to China's transportation challenges. Driver inexperience, along with add- ing new regulations in a large coun- try, makes normal driving a challenge. Imagine trying to persuade motorists in an already congested traffc pattern to stop for a yellow bus with its lights fashing to pick up or drop off students. This would be similar to stopping on a six- or eight-lane highway and expect- ing motorists to stop for the school bus. Better routing practices and safety awareness of the yellow school bus are warranted. However, to ft the coun- try's unique circumstances, China might need to look to nations like New Zealand, where motorists are required to slow down to 20 kilometers per hour (12 miles per hour) when approaching a school bus loading students. Istan- bul, Turkey, utilizes a best practice in which students do not cross the street and a hostess (attendant/monitor) walks the students to and from the bus. It is easy for us as Americans to adopt the paradigm that our way is the best way to achieve success. Certainly, we have an effective model within our country. However, it is not easily repli- cated in other countries due to differ- ent cultural factors. We feel it is necessary to offer col- leagues in other countries our best safety practices, with hopes that they will implement them to protect their passengers. Any bus accident involv- ing students is tragic and refects poorly on all of us. We are optimis- tic that working collaboratively can make school transportation safe for all children. Dick Fischer is the owner and president of pupil transportation consulting frm Trans-Consult. Peter Lawrence is director of transportation at Fairport (N.Y.) Central School District.

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