The Ontario School Bus Association (OSBA) is a non-profit association providing advocacy and education services for the owners of school bus fleets, school boards/transportation consortia and supplier/manufacturer companies across Ontario.  
March 17, 2015 - Issue 6

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Inside this Edition:
  1. OSBA Meets Student Transportation Review Team (STRT) for Three Hours
  2. Paper Argues for Strategies to Prevent School Bus Dragging
  3. OTE Discounted Registration Fee Deadline EXTENDED to Friday, March 20
  4. May 24-29 P.R.I.D.E. Program is Sold Out - Register Now for June 7-12
  5. OSBA Member Exhibitors at OTE
  6. Upcoming Events
OSBA Meets Student Transportation Review Team (STRT) for Three Hours

OSBA was very pleased and grateful to convene with Hon. Colin Campbell and Leo Gotlieb of the STRT on Tues. March 10, 2015.  The Review Team asked many excellent questions and OSBA provided significant detail and information regarding current challenges with the competitive procurement process and highlighted a variety of difficulties with RFP documents.  The Review Team appeared to provide a very good understanding of the supply/contractor side of the industry.  They also requested further clarification regarding a number of items including driver turnover statistics, detailed issues/solutions regarding route bundling, OSBA’s perspectives regarding key threshold items related to technical scoring, OSBA’s reasoning behind the sharing of existing contract rates to achieve a level playing field for all RFP proponents, and a copy of the letter OSBA received regarding Premier Wynne’s commitment to revising the 2007 Benchmark Study.   For further details, please contact OSBA President Les Cross directly at or 705.229.6835.
Paper Argues for Strategies to Prevent School Bus Dragging

Reprinted From: School Transportation News
Article Written By: Ryan Gray

It doesn't happen too often nationwide but often enough, especially of late, according to student transportation experts Kathy Furneaux and Peter Lawrence. "It" refers to "100-percent preventable" incidents where students become caught or snagged by the school bus service door during loading or unloading.

Furneaux, the executive director of the Pupil Transportation Safety Institute in Syracuse, New York, and Lawrence, the director of transportation at Fairport CSD in Rochester, 
published a paper last month that documents 28 reported incidents of students being shut in the service door occurring in 17 states since 2004. They shared the results with the New York State Education Department.

Photo courtesy Fairport CSD.
 Can you see a reason why the bus driver should not begin to pull away from the stop?  Additionally, they cited an April 4, 1997 article that reported eight students were killed dating back to 1991, which resulted in the school bus industry voluntarily recalling 160,000 buses to modify the handrail to prevent future deaths and injuries, Furneaux and Lawrence point out.

"Fortunately, these types of dragging incidents have been eliminated through better design and training," write Furneaux and Lawrence. "However, the recent upsurge in dragging incidents draws attention back to the issues surrounding school bus design and driver training."

Three recent events in New York state prompted the
 New York Association for Pupil Transportation to issue an advisory to members in January for re-training of bus drivers to ensure they follow proper safety procedures at bus stops.

The paper concludes that today's most common snagging incidents, similar to the handrail design flaw, are possibly caused by the placement of the service door switch commonly located to the left of the driver on the master panel or steering wheel. Furneaux and Lawrence suggest that these switch locations require the driver to look away from the door when opening or closing it, which could cause them to lose track of exactly where students are located before pulling away from the stop.

"Simply relocating this switch to a place in the sight line of the service door would allow the driver to look in the direction of the door while operating it," they explain. "This, of course, is not the complete solution, but perhaps would contribute to efforts that prevent these service door draggings from occurring."

They also claim driver distraction, ranging from two-way radios to managing student behaviour and traffic congestion to bus stop challenges, plays a large role in students becoming caught in service doors and being dragged down the street.

"Nevertheless, at the moment the student is exiting the bus, nothing is more important than making sure the service door is cleared and the student has moved no less than 15 feet away from the bus before pulling back into the flow of traffic," Furneaux and Lawrence add.

They offered up several training recommendations to help transportation operators avoid snagging and dragging incidents, including:

  • Scan all mirrors for students outside of the bus
  • Check cross-over mirrors to check for students in front of the bus, near the front wheels and in the service door area
  • Next to last in the sequence – Glance back at the service door to look for students before actually moving the bus
  • Perform mirror sweep once again before pulling out into traffic

The research results and suggested strategies to combat dragging incidents will be shared at the STN EXPO this July in Reno, Nevada.

OTE Discounted Registration Fee Deadline EXTENDED to Friday, March 20

If you have not already registered for the Ontario Transportation Expo (OTE), PLAN NOW to attend – April 12-15 in Toronto.  Unparalleled industry-specific educational and networking opportunities!
It is also suggested that hotel reservations be made no later than March 20th to ensure space and group rate – see the following link:  
OTE is an excellent place for information, ideas and networking.  Why reinvent the wheel?  Find out from others in the bus industry, how they are dealing with current and ongoing issues.  Exceptional connections between buyers and sellers at the only trade show in North America combining the school bus, motor coach, public transit and specialized transportation industries all under one roof - Tuesday April 14th.  If you have any questions, please contact   Look forward to seeing you at OTE!
May 24-29 P.R.I.D.E. Program is Sold Out - Register Now for June 7-12

This program is NOT just for “Recognized Authority” companies involved with the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) Driver Certification Program (DCP).  It is for any organization interested in having exceptional driver instructors providing top-quality training to their drivers that will be retained and performed in a deliberate manner.  If your driver instructors have not yet been through the Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program, register now for the upcoming programs June 7-12 and October 18-23.  As mentioned in previous communications, the July and August programs have been cancelled due to the Pan Am / Parapan Am Games.  For more information and registration:  or call/email 416.695.9965 Ext. 6 or
OSBA Member Exhibitors at OTE

OSBA is very pleased to announce that the following OSBA supplier/manufacturer members will be exhibiting at the Ontario Transportation Expo (OTE) trade show on April 14th in Hall #5, International Centre, Toronto, Ontario Canada: 
  • Brake Works (Formerly AUP)
  • Cummins Eastern Canada LP
  • EasyBus
  • Elreg Distributors Ltd.
  • Girardin Ontario Inc.
  • Harper Bus Sales
  • North American Transit Supply Corporation
  • Primemax Energy Inc.
  • Q'Straint/Sure-Lok
  • REI
  • School Bus Safety Co. (dba Transit and Paratransit Company)
  • Seon
  • Sound Insurance Services Inc. 
  • United Muffler Corp
  • Wajax Power Systems
There will be many new exhibitors this year from across Canada and the US – view the full list of exhibitors to date at:
Complimentary guest passes will be mailed to each bus operator and school board/transportation consortia member of OSBA and all exhibitors within the next week or so.  If more passes are required, don’t hesitate to contact OTE at or one of the above exhibitors and they can be emailed or mailed directly to you.

For all details and information regarding OTE, visit
Upcoming Events

Ontario Transportation Expo (OTE)
Apr. 12-15, 2015

P.R.I.D.E. Program
May 24-29, 2015

OSBA Webinar
June 10, 2015

P.R.I.D.E. Program
June 7-12, 2015

P.R.I.D.E. Program
July 12-17, 2015 - CANCELLED
(Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Jul.10-26)

P.R.I.D.E. Program
Aug. 9-14, 2015 - CANCELLED
(Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Aug. 7-15)

P.R.I.D.E. Program
Oct. 18-23, 2015

OSBA Webinar
Oct. 21, 2015

OSBA Webinar
Dec. 2, 2015
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