News

TOMTOM AND GPSI OFFER NEW CONNECTED MOBILITY SOLUTION FOR SCHOOL BUS AND MOTORCOACH OPERATORS

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RENO, Nev.--TomTom (TOM2), a leader in navigation and mapping products, and GPSi, a top provider of cloud-based telematics solutions, have combined their technology to create a more comprehensive offering for school bus and motorcoach operators.

The two companies will introduce the TomTom BRIDGE with GPSi software at the STN EXPO (North American School Bus EXPO) today. The product will allow drivers to easily track hours of service, assign drivers, change routes, create geofences, view and manage driver history and schedule vehicle maintenance.

The TomTom BRIDGE is a rugged navigation device built for professional drivers that seamlessly links business applications with TomTom maps, traffic and navigation software. It provides a friendly, out-of– the-box solution to help meet the ELD (Electronic Logging Device) mandate in the U.S. and Canada.

“Our collaboration with GPSi offers school bus and motorcoach operators a better journey,” said Sebastien Ruffino, Business Unit Manager, TomTom BRIDGE. “Together we will help increase safety and provide drivers with more efficiency and convenience.”

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U.S. REP CALLS FOR FEDERAL SCHOOL BUS SEAT BELT MANDATE

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U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee questioned why seat belts have not yet been federally mandated on school buses and pushed for action, according to Times Free Press.

A House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing was the scene of the discussion on Tuesday. Officials from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) were present.

Earlier this year, a Tennessee bill requiring seat belts in all school buses purchased after July 1, 2019 met with resistance from the governor and General Assembly. The existence of compartmentalization, the protective nature of the high-backed, padded school bus seats to cushion students in the event of a crash, and the extra price of seat belts were main objections voiced at that time.

However, Cohen brought up crashes the NTSB has investigated in California, New Jersey, Tennessee, Texas, and Missouri and their subsequent conclusion that compartmentalization was not adequate for student safety in the event of a side-impact or rollover. He asked Dr. T. Bella Dinh-Zarr of the NTSB if the agency's recommendation for three-point, lap-shoulder seat belts on school buses still stood. She responded that it does.

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Elementary-school bus driver crochets toys for every kid on her route

http://www.kmbz.com

(WAUKESHA, Wisc.) -- Wisconsin bus driver Trudy Serres crochets toys for each of the elementary school kids on her route.

Whatever they ask for -- no matter how wacky the requests -- they get. She’s done ice cream cones, unicorns, “Star Wars” characters and many more-elaborate, custom designs.

“She is the best,” parent Peggy Lamon, who has three children who ride on Serres’ bus, told ABC News. “She can control them. She is their second mom when they’re on her bus. She’s just amazing. She does everything for these kids. She’s very loving and caring, and I love her. I am so grateful she is going to be our bus driver next year.”

It all started when one of Lamon’s sons, Vincent Lamon, 10, dared Serres to make a crocheted taco after she had taught his older brother to crochet.

“His favorite food is tacos, so finally one day I said, ‘Fine, I’ll try to make it,’ and two days a later I think I had it done,” Serres, 43, recalled.

Once she finished the taco, most of the students on her route for Summit Elementary School in Oconomowoc wanted one. She went down the rows of kids and asked for their special orders. Read More

CROWDSOURCING SOLUTIONS AT THE STN EXPO

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As the STN EXPO kicks off in earnest today, over 650 regular conference attendees and another several hundred more vendors and school bus technicians coming for Blue Bird and Thomas Built Buses training will be walking the halls of The Peppermill Resort, aclimating themselves to the new digs. Certainly attendees have encountered a change of scenery as they arrived in Reno this year, the event's 24th.

In with the new.

As student transporters find themselves in this invigatored environment, a challenge is once again on the table: Find potential solutions to today's myriad issues through learning, networking and studying the many options presented over the coming days.

That's one of the reasons why we at STN came up with the slogan "Crowdsourcing Solutions." And there's no better speaker to help us introduce this theme than Dr. Stephen Sroka on Sunday morning.

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SCHOOL BUS IS WHERE HE FIRST SAW LOVE OF HIS LIFE

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An Alabama couple recently became engaged on a school bus specially rented for the occasion to mark the couple's journey since first meeting in middle school 30 years ago, reports Inside Edition.

Ernie Caldwell long held a flame for Tracie Self ever since first seeing her on the school bus, but he never had the courage to ask her out.

“I just happened to look up on the bus one day and saw her get on and that was it," Cardwell told InsideEdition.com. "I was immediately taken. I kept it to myself. Two or three years went by and then we ended up in the same journalism class, but I was still thinking, ‘No, not gonna happen.'"

They both eventually married other people, had children and then divorced before reconnecting on Facebook. They started dating, and now they are planning to get married next June.

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NY SENATE PASSES BILLS TO REDUCE ILLEGAL BUS PASSING

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ABC 10 has reported that both S.1023 and S.1064 unanimously passed through the New York State Senate last Wednesday. Both bills would increase the penalties of passing school buses illegally.

Both bills have yet reached the governor's desk but have been forwarded to the New York state assembly. Under Sen. Funke's legislation, S.1023 would increase the range of fines for illegal school bus passing from a minimum of $400 to a maximum of $1500. Legislation reuqires if a person is injured while passing a school bus be charged with aggravated vehicular assault. If a fatality occurs amid an illegal bus passing, legislation requires a criminal charge of negligent homicide.

S.1064, under Sen. Bonacic's legislation, adds to the penalty of illegal bus passing with a 60-day driver's license suspension upon conviction within a 10-year period.

The New York School Bus Contractor Association backs the bills 100 percent, as noted that many drivers fail to stop for school buses.

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New library bookmobile arrives in Bozeman

School may be out for the summer in Bozeman, but a gaggle of librarians at the city garage complex were as excited as kindergartners on the first day of classes Friday as they welcomed the public library’s new bookmobile to town.

The vehicle, a brand-new converted school bus custom-built for the city at a cost of $350,000, will serve as a roving branch of the library, bringing books and internet access out to parts of the Gallatin Valley distant from the brick-and-mortar library on East Main Street.

“We’re all the way at the eastern end of town — and all the growth is happening on the west side,” said Carmen Clark, the bookmobile’s librarian-to-be.

The bookmobile actually made it into town Thursday, but got its formal handover to the city Friday, giving city staff and supporters a chance to check out its spacious interior — lines of wooden bookshelves, a wheelchair lift, air conditioning and Wi-Fi hotspot.

“It’s like you can run laps inside,” Clark said.

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Retired school bus back on the road, feeding children this summer

wspa.com

(WSPA) — Henderson County Public Schools is putting a retired school bus back to work, delivering food to children this summer.

Public Information Officer Molly McGowan Gorsuch tells 7 News that the bus is being used to help feed students in North Carolina this summer who typically eat two meals a day at school.

McGowan said the retired bus is outfitted so children can come eat at tabletops. 

A news release states the endeavor was made possible by a $10,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Henderson County. The grant was used to renovate the interior of the bus. 

McGowan said up to 15 students at a time can be served meals approved by the school district. Read More