Changes in tomorrow’s transportation programs can seem far away when school districts are focused on meeting the needs of today. But technology is changing in ways that increase student safety and the level of service a district can provide, making it more important than ever to take advantage of new solutions. That’s what California district Twin Rivers Unified School District (USD) is doing.
According to the American School Bus Council, there are about 480,000 school buses in America transporting around 25 million children to and from school. It’s become apparent that school buses benefit our communities—aside from making sure kids arrive to school safely and on time. School buses help to reduce traffic, by keeping over 17 million cars off the road, and preventing over 20 million tons of CO2 from being released each year.
School districts are now making school buses even more valuable, by installing Wi-Fi on buses. This should help extend the reach of the classroom, dramatically improve behavior on the bus, allow students to complete homework assignments, and ultimately bring grades up.
When choosing what kind of fuel type your buses will use in your fleet, infrastructure is a large part of the decision-making process. There are costs to consider, as well as space and training your bus drivers and mechanics need for how to safely use new fueling or charging stations. The interesting part of infrastructure is that some fuel types have infrastructure that comes at little to no cost to you—and most providers will provide free training.
In January, STN Magazine reported that national school bus loading and unloading fatalities doubled in 2016-17, according to the survey published by the Kansas Department of Education and the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services.
Modern education practices have progressed with technologies such as digital text books, flipped classrooms (delivering instructional content online), cloud-based tools designed to enhance teaching methods, and the introduction of mobile devices offered to students from schools to access these developing opportunities.
Does something look different? It sure does. Introducing SoundOff Commercial Vehicle Solutions, previously SoundOff Commercial Vehicle Products. With not only a new name, logo and leadership, SoundOff is bringing more solutions to their customers by providing a wider range of products that drive higher visibility, improve cost efficiency and ultimately promote safety.
There is much debate about the cleanliness of school buses today, particularly surrounding diesel and propane engines. Both are touted as clean burning. Emissions data being thrown around in the industry can make you dizzy sometimes confused. The truth is that, based on EPA-regulated emissions, clean-diesel school buses today are comparable to or cleaner than other fuel types like propane, CNG and gasoline.
Buses don't necessarily have a reputation as the most innovative transit option around. But thanks to new advances in technology, all that is changing. With features like onboard Wi-Fi, Global Positioning System (GPS), telematics, cameras, enhanced driver support tools, and a greater focus on the passenger experience, next-generation fleets are changing perceptions about bus transit in cities across the country.