The Ontario School Bus Association (OSBA) is a non-profit association providing advocacy, education, and legislative consultation services to the owners of school bus fleets, school boards/transportation consortia and supplier/manufacturer companies across Ontario.  
March 1, 2017 - Issue 5

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Inside this Edition:
  1. Newsletter Corrections
  2. Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program Hiring Additional Master Trainers!
  3. Register On-Line NOW to Reserve Your Place at OTE!
  4. Provide Your Feedback on MTO Business Process Modernization
  5. Chocolate Capital to Host Annual Bus Spring Fling
  6. School Bus Driver Saves Student from Speeding SUV
  7. School Bus Innovations - Tech Disruptions Drive Chicago Summit
  8. VW Truck & Bus Closes $256M Equity Investment in Navistar
  9. Minnesota Holds First School Bus Driver Appreciation Day
  10. Upcoming Events
Newsletter Corrections

In the Feb. 15, 2017 OSBA Newsletter, the following two articles were credited to the wrong source. Both of the below articles were from School Transportation News, not School Bus Fleet. Our sincere apologies!
  • Reaching Maturity, Connected Technology Provides Promise of Efficient Mobility
  • The Best in the Industry: NSTA Hosts Annual School Bus Driver International Safety Competition
Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program Hiring Additional Master Trainers!

The job advertisement and all details can be viewed at this link: Job Ad.  A rewarding and exciting opportunity to be part of an extraordinary team!  It would be appreciated that the advertisement be posted on bulletin boards and/or circulated to staff members who are previous graduates of the P.R.I.D.E. Program.  Other qualifications are noted in the attached advertisement.  The deadline for applications is March 17, 2017.

P.R.I.D.E. Program course details and information can be found at the following link: P.R.I.D.E. Program
Register On-Line NOW to Reserve Your Place at OTE!

The Ontario Transportation Expo (OTE) is just around the corner – April 9 - 12, 2017 at the International Plaza Hotel – 655 Dixon Road, Toronto, ON. OTE 2017 will once again offer valuable education sessions and networking opportunities. Members will receive the latest information on key industry issues that affect operations and new ideas/tools to continue building organizational success. OTE is the place to expand your professional network and investigate uncommon perspectives and alternative ideas! REGISTER TODAY!

Take a quick look at the full program here. This year’s business session line-up covers many of the issues facing the bus industry today, including thought-provoking sessions targeted specifically for those involved with student transportation!  Please note that while business sessions indicate association affiliations (OSBA, OMCA, OPTA), all sessions are open to all registrants unless shown as “by invitation only”.

OSBA is very pleased to announce that the 
Honourable Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education will be joining OSBA during the OSBA Annual General Meeting (AGM)!  The AGM is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, April 11th from 8:30 to 9:30 am so be sure to attend!

Reserve your place today by registering on-line at If you have any questions or feedback about the various sessions, we’d appreciate hearing from you – please contact OSBA’s Safety and Legislation Consultant Alex Bugeya – or 416.695.9965 Ext. 4
Provide Your Feedback on MTO Business Process Modernization

On February 27th, OSBA distributed a survey developed by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) to bus operator member main contacts, requesting feedback on modernizing MTO business processes.

The MTO (Road User Safety Division) is modernizing many business processes and technologies to deliver faster, smarter and more streamlined government services for such items as renewing CVOR or MVIS licences, ordering CVOR carrier (Level 2) abstracts, ordering stock (e.g. safety standard certificates, annual/semi-annual stickers, etc.) and updating business information (e.g. adding MVIS technicians, etc.).  Through modernized services, operators will have access to government services 24 hours a day and the ability to complete many of the above transactions by using a secure, on-line payment method and tracking system.

Survey responses and expertise will be critical in the success of MTO’s online implementation!

Should you have any questions please feel free to contact MTO directly - Louis Janetos at 905.380.4989 or or OSBA’s Safety and Legislation Consultant Alex Bugeya at 416.695.9965 Ext. 4 or
Chocolate Capital to Host Annual Bus Spring Fling

Article Source: School Transportation News (Hershey, PA)
Article Date: February 24, 2017

The Museum of Bus Transportation in Hershey, Pennsylvania, will hold its annual Spring Fling, and for those in the bus industry, the chocolate won’t be the sweetest thing in town.

Held in the home of Hershey chocolates, the Spring Fling will display the museum’s restored and donated fleet that spans the 20th century for all participants to see.

Museum Special Advisor David Millhouser said the buses are donated and are often in outstanding shape.

“When they do need restoration we seek folks who will donate the work, but occasionally have to pay for it,” he said, adding that “we hope at Spring Fling that a number of visiting buses will attend and there will be yellow buses among them.”

Last year, a Crown school bus was on display during Spring Fling; however, according to Marketing Committee Chair Mark Szyperski, there are no guarantees on the buses that will be in attendance at this year’s event.

Szyperski added that the museum expects a great showing of school buses, including several additional antique school buses that were seen at the show last year.

For those looking to add exclusive pieces to their collections, the show will also have memorabilia pieces on sale from an array of bus aficionados.

The Spring Fling will be held at the Museum of Bus Transportation June 2-3, 2017.
School Bus Driver Saves Student from Speeding SUV

Article Source: School Transportation News (East Hampton, CT)
Article Date: February 21, 2017

A DATTCO school bus driver for the East Hampton school district in Connecticut was honoured for his heroic rescue of one of his students who was almost struck by a speeding vehicle as she exited her school bus.

Randy Kronick is credited for saving the life of 9-year-old Naomi Mastroianni, who was nearly hit when an oncoming SUV failed to stop for the bus stop sign and flashing lights. Kronick pulled the child out of the way just as the vehicle sped by.

Kronick said he does not consider himself a hero—he was just doing his job; adding that the DATTCO safety procedures should receive all the praise for preventing a potential tragedy.

DATTCO drivers are trained to ensure close communication with their students to assist in crossing streets. Students and drivers typically maintain eye contact, the students waiting for cues from the driver for when it’s safe to cross.

“At DATTCO, the safety of the children we transport is our No. 1 priority,” said Don DeVivo, president of DATTCO. “We are so grateful for Randy and his heroic actions. We pride ourselves on employing the best transportation professionals in the country, and Randy certainly is a stellar example of this.”

Recently, DATTCO launched the campaign, Safety Starts with Me, that has employees pledge to make safety their priority when on the job. 

Eric Thompson, branch manager at East Hampton, and Phil Johnson, vice president of the school bus division at DATTCO, both agreed that Kronick’s actions are a prime example of how prioritizing safety and procedural consistency can make the difference in a life or death situation.

Kronick has slightly altered his route since the incident so that Mastroianni is dropped off directly in front of her home without having to cross the street.

DATTCO is a third-generation family-owned business that was established in 1924. Headquartered in New Britain, Connecticut, the company services more than 40 school districts throughout the Constitution State and is the top bus dealer in New England.
School Bus Innovations - Tech Disruptions Drive Chicago Summit

Article Source: School Transportation News (Chicago, IL)
Article Date: February 23, 2017

The inaugural IC Bus Innovation Summit in Chicago brought together representatives of school districts, school bus contractors, OEMs, technology providers, educators, journalists and industry associations to share ideas on several trends, including the Internet of Things, data security, and autonomous vehicles.

The all-day event featured book-end presentations by Howard Tulman, CEO of host 1871, a tech incubator and think space for local entrepreneurs, and Howard Putnam, a former CEO of Southwest Airlines.

Trish Reed, vice president and GM of IC Bus, kicked things off sharing with attendees that the industry needs to be proactive rather than reactive, and to take advantage of technological trends rather than fall victim to them.

“We have to control our own destiny,” she said, before encouraging all to open their minds and “think of the future without the constraints of today.”

Tulman then launched into the day’s discussions by likening technology to a 200-pound baby, enormous and full of potential, but still highly immature. It is also feeding on the impatience of a connected society and a “right-now” economy.

“Today, it’s not the big that eat the little, but the fast that eats the slow,” he said. “If you’re not in a big hurry, you’re probably too late. We’re playing the whole game in overtime.”

In between discussions, attendees rotated among various breakout sessions. One focused on the technology and learning equality afforded by school bus Wi-Fi, with one speaker touting the benefits of wireless connectivity, which gives students the opportunity to do homework during long bus rides. This viewpoint was decried by the other panelist, who pointed out students may need those longer bus rides home to disconnect from technology and release the pressures built up during the day.  

Another session brought together representatives of a local school bus contractor, two alternative engine manufacturers and the Chicago Department of Transportation to discuss the path of alternative fuels, such as electric buses, which some felt should be more viable in the coming decade. 

One discussion centered on the potential dangers of the widespread use of technology, including how inexpensive devices may lack proper security. Greg Lindsay, a senior fellow at both the New Cities Foundation and the Atlantic Council, warned that "we run the risk of deploying technology before we know the usefulness of it." He added how improper security standards could pose a risk to protecting district information, such as student transportation operations, student info and the school buses.

Fellow panelists, Jason Corbally, president of Education Logistics, and Ted Thien, vice president and general manager of Versatrans at Tyler Technologies, both agreed that software companies must work together to develop the necessary security and policy standards for the school bus industry, while also ensuring parents receive the information they need, namely the location of their children.

During a session on transportation trends, Keith Henry, president of the National Association for Pupil Transportation, talked about the school bus driver shortage. He also addressed the role technology plays in making their jobs easier, which he has seen firsthand as director of transportation for Lee’s Summit R-VII School District near Kansas City. “Technology enhances the driver’s ability, not detract from it,” he said.

Several speakers addressed concerns about what the rise of autonomous vehicles could mean to the traditional role of school bus drivers. Deborah Halvorson, a consultant and a former congressional representative and state senator, said that even with the rise of driverless vehicles, school buses will always need adults on the bus for student supervision. Frederick Andersky, director of customer solutions and marketing at Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, echoed these comments, saying driver assistance technology, especially for school buses, does not equate to driver replacement systems.

This was furthered by Charlie Hood, executive director of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, who said that technology could make the job of driving the school bus easier, suggesting that many operations, such as the process of stopping at all railroad crossings, could eventually be automated.

He added that high-tech examples such as Wi-Fi on buses, as well as low-tech examples like driver-initiated reading programs for students, could improve the learning environment while also improving behavior.

Likewise, Northwestern University researcher Mike Hyland said the school bus industry can learn a number of lessons from not only the passenger vehicle and trucking industries but the upstart ridesharing companies.

“I don’t think Uber and Google will be building buses anytime soon, but they have a certain expertise that can be tapped,” he said.

IC Bus’ Reed added at the summit’s conclusion that the OEM will be soon issuing a white paper based that outline possible next steps for the industry.

Putnam provided the closing remarks in his talk titled, "Innovation: Some Play the Game – Others Change the Way the Game Is Played." This starts with an organization’s people.

“If you can put your people in the right frame of mind and they feel empowered to tell you what they think, inspiration follows,” he said.

In addition, the success of companies and school districts rely on those same people being able to speak up when the vision and innovation are ill-conceived or the timing isn’t right.
VW Truck & Bus Closes $256M Equity Investment in Navistar

Article Source: School Transportation News (North America)
Article Date: March 1, 2017

Volkswagen Truck & Bus and Navistar announced they have closed a strategic partnership and procurement joint venture that was first announced in September 2016.

The $256-million deal officially introduces VW Truck & Bus, a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, and its brands into the North American market. In addition, VW Truck & Bus now has a 16.6-percent stake in Navistar.

"The authorities have given our strategic alliance with Navistar the green light," said Andreas Renschler, CEO of VW Truck & Bus. "Our newly-founded purchasing cooperation will begin work immediately. This puts both partners in a stronger position for the future. The strategic alliance provides Volkswagen Truck & Bus with access to the all-important North American market. This is a major step toward becoming a global champion."

Navistar said it will use the money it earned from the deal for “general corporate purposes.”

Troy Clark, president and CEO of Navistar, said the deal marks a “significant milestone” in the Illinois-based manufacturer’s history, and that he expects “multiple benefits” for both companies going forward.

"Now that the transaction has closed, we will move quickly to collaborate with an industry-leading, strategic partner to increase our global scale, strengthen our competitiveness and provide our customers with expanded access to cutting-edge products, technology, and services," he said in a statement on March 1st.

According to both companies, the venture, titled Global Truck & Bus Procurement LLC, will improve manufacturing quality, while also reducing costs from increased global scope and scale. It is now being run out of Navistar’s headquarters in Lisle, Illinois, and comprises representatives from both companies who oversee the marriage of the International, IC Bus, Scania, MAN and Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus.

The companies' ongoing technology and supply collaboration operate out of Stockholm, Sweden. VW Truck and Bus and Navistar said this collaboration will facilitate commercial vehicle development, including advanced powertrain technology solutions. The companies added that this is eventually expected to optimize research and development spend and expand the technology options offer to customers.
Minnesota Holds First School Bus Driver Appreciation Day

Article Source: School Bus Fleet (Minnesota)
Article Date: February 23, 2017

To recognize Minnesota school bus drivers, who safely transport more than 760,000 students to and from school each day, Gov. Mark Dayton proclaimed Feb. 22 the state's first-ever School Bus Driver Appreciation Day.

The Minnesota School Bus Operators Association (MSBOA) and Minnesota Association for Pupil Transportation (MAPT) teamed up to create School Bus Driver Appreciation Day as a way to encourage school leaders, parents, and students to celebrate the often overlooked profession.

Appreciation cards were made available for students around the state to download, fill out and deliver to school bus drivers on Feb. 22.

“School bus drivers transport parents’ most precious cargo — their children — day in and day out, and they do this job humbly and with great pride,” MSBOA President Josh Schiffler said. “We are thankful that Gov. Dayton has declared Feb. 22 School Bus Driver Appreciation Day in Minnesota so that we can give these quiet heroes the recognition they deserve.”

A press conference held in St. Louis Park on Feb. 22 provided an opportunity for parents, students, and school administrators to recognize several Minnesota school bus drivers. Minnesota Education Commissioner Dr. Brenda Cassellius was on hand to provide remarks and gratitude.

“We are so grateful for school bus drivers who realize that nothing is more important than our children’s safety,” said Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman. “School Bus Driver Appreciation Day is a great way to honour their work and show our appreciation. We can help them every time we get behind the wheel by stopping for red flashing lights or stop arms and paying attention in neighborhoods and school zones.”

“Our school bus drivers take their jobs seriously and are committed to getting kids to and from school safely,” MAPT President Derrick Agate Sr. said. “We hope that Minnesotans help us recognize school bus drivers in their communities on Feb. 22, and that more people consider this important and in-demand career.”
Upcoming Events
Mar. 8 OSBA Webinar
Mar. 12-17 Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program - SOLD OUT
Apr. 2-7 Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program  - SOLD OUT
Apr. 9-12 2017 Ontario Transportation Expo – Conference and Trade Show
Apr. 27 P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program
May 1-5 Alberta Student Transportation Advisory Council (ASTAC) Convention
May 3-5 OASBO 74th Annual Conference & Education Industry Show
May 7-12 Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program - SOLD OUT
May 17 OSBA Webinar
June 21 P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program
July 9-14 Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program
Aug. 12 P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program
Aug. 13-18 Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program
Oct. 15-20 Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program
Oct. 16-20 National School Bus Safety Week
Oct. 18 Professional School Bus Driver Appreciation Day
Oct. 25 OSBA Webinar
Oct. 26 P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program
Dec. 6 P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program
May 13-16 Canadian Pupil Transportation Conference (CPTC)
Copyright © 2017 Ontario School Bus Association
All rights reserved.  This publication is intended for the exclusive use of OSBA Members.  Reproduction without prior permission is prohibited.

Contact OSBA:
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