STN Blogs Daily Routes Roundup: The Return of The Magic School Bus
Roundup: The Return of The Magic School Bus PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ryan Gray   
Friday, 13 June 2014 11:07

An entirely new generation of kids will soon be introduced to the hijinks of Ms. Frizzle when new episodes of "The Magic School Bus," a popular animated television show of the mid-1990s, comes to Netflix.

The show is based on the children's book of the same name and follows the travels of eccentric schoolteacher Ms. Valerie Frizzle, originally played by Lily Tomlin, and her students as they learn about science. They take a high-tech bus on various field trips of discovery through time, space, the human body — virtually anywhere.

The new show is titled "The Magic School Bus 360" and will focus on new scientific developments such as robotics. It will premiere in 2016 with 26 episodes. The original version, inspired by the Scholastic book that sold more than 85 million copies worldwide, is also currently streaming on Netflix.

Tomlin won the 1995 Daytime Emmy for her role and was nominated a total of four times. The show was also nominated four times in the category of Outstanding Children's Animated Program. It originally ran from 1994-1997 and also featured the voices of several popular actors. Malcolm Jamal Warner voiced a frequently appearing character and the likes of Dom DeLuise, Paul Winfield, Tyne Daly, Ed Asner, Elliott Gould, Edward James Olmos and Ed Begley, Jr., also lent their voices.

A Netflix spokeswoman told STN it was "too early to tell" if Tomlin or the original cast is tied to the new series.

"The Magic School Bus" is part of Netflix's acquisition of Scholastic Media.

The House of Representatives this week finished floor debate and passed the Fiscal Year 2015 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations bill by a vote of 229-192. The bill is nearly identical to the one passed last week by the House Committee on Appropriations. Included is an amendment we reported on that prohibits FMCSA from using any of the funds to increase the minimum insurance coverage for motor carrier operators. School buses are generally exempted.

The Senate is expected to move its version of the THUD Appropriations bill to the floor next week.

The Ontario government reportedly spent $1.6 million in anti-bullying and autism funds to battle a lawsuit brought against local school boards by school bus companies angered over the new competitive procurement, or RFP, rules. The National Post reported that court documents showed the $1.6 million was meant for programs such as anti-bullying and autism awareness campaigns but instead was funneled to school boards to help pay their legal fees.

As we have reported, school bus operators took the school boards and their transportation consortia to court in 2012 to challenge a new process created by the government for awarding school bus contracts through Requests for Proposals (RFPs), which they argued was unfair for smaller service companies. The Ontario government has since been added to the suit.

Navistar said it expects the consolidation of its medium-duty engine manufacturing to its Melrose Park, Ill., facility to be completed "toward the end of the summer," a spokesman told The company is continuing to build engines at the Huntsville, Ala., plant to meet customer demand. The transfer-in build is expected to save Navistar $22 million in annual operating costs.

Collins Bus Corporation is hosting a ride-and-drive event for its new gasoline- and diesel-powered Type A school buses during the STN EXPO next month in Reno, Nev. The ride and drive is scheduled for July 29 prior to the STN EXPO Trade Show.

Dousman Transport Co. was named a "Top Workplace" by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Workplace Dynamics, LLP conducted a survey of employees from local companies.

"It is extremely gratifying to be nominated for this award by our employees ... I truly appreciate that our employees feel comfortable in their workplace environment and appreciate their commitment to safety," said Magda Dimmendaal, CEO of Dousman Transport and the past-president of the National School Transportation Association.

Caterpillar faces at least 15 lawsuits regarding engines it sold between 2006 and 2010 for school buses, charters buses and trucks. The Wall Street Journal reported that the suits claim the engines were prone to breakdowns and fires. The company ceased its on-highway engines in 2010.


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Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 June 2014 14:54