RENO, Nev. - Retired with several titles and 43 years in school transportation operations, Public Transportation Safety Institute trainer Betty Hughes provided attendees with the right tools to optimize dispatching through effective communication during a special training session on Saturday at the STN EXPO.
Hughes underscored throughout her session that dispatchers are a key part of a collective transportation effort. Citing the National Survey of Transportation, Hughes indicated that school buses are 24 times safer than a family car in transporting students to and from school. But even supported with the fact, school transportation operations are pitted with the continuous responsibility of ensuring the safety of children.
Hughes addresses the issue by centering her four-hour workshop on the importance of dispatchers as role models for every school district's transportation operations. Dispatchers are what school bus drivers rely on for instruction and direction in getting children to and from from school.
Communication is inherent with dispatchers, which means it must be equally generative and effective with school bus drivers.
Hughes emphasized that the ideal dispatcher establishes a equal communicative plane between their drivers, meaning no hierarchy is exisits. The ideal dispatcher reaffirms greatness within the driver staff by fostering the belief and determination they are appreciated for what they do each and every day.
By relaying recognition and appreciation, dispatchers enableg good morality to flourish within their working enviroment, which becomes conducive to getting the job done right, according to Hughes.
“It all starts from the minute you get up in the morning,” said Hughes. “It’s the choices we make as dispatchers that allow us to be the most influential hub for school transportation.”