Coronavirus Postpones National Congress on School Transportation, Likely Until 2021

2015 NCST proceedings
State delegates and interested parties observe the proceedings during the 2015 National Congress on School Transportation. (Photo by Max Christensen, Iowa Department of Education)

The steering committee for the National Congress on School Transportation, that was scheduled to be held May 17-20 in Des Moines, Iowa, has postponed the national industry event in response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Patrick McManamon, NCST steering committee chair and the state director of transportation at the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles, announced the postponement in an email on Wednesday.

“We are united with the nation in having to make difficult decisions in the overriding interest of public health and safety,” added McManamon, who is the president-elect of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) and will take the reins this fall.

The decision comes following a recommendation made by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control to limit all public gatherings to fewer than 50 people for the next two months.

NCST is tentatively being rescheduled for May 16-19, 2021 in Des Moines.

The event is scheduled to be held every five years and brings together state delegations to discuss and debate proposed changes to the National School Bus Specifications & Procedures, which provides guidelines to states and local districts on the various aspects of school transportation operations. Many states adopt the recommendations into state code or via legislation.

The steering committee is canceling all registrations made and refunding all money paid to date, the release stated. School districts should void all outstanding purchase orders. McManamon said NCST is also working with the conference hotel to cancel all room reservations in bulk.

All other reservations, including airfare and rooms made at other area hotels, should be manually canceled by individual registrants.

NCST is directing questions on special instructions for where and how to issue refunds to NASDPTS administrative services.

Editor’s note—A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the Vermont affiliation of NCST steering committee chair Patrick McManamon.