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.  
January 6, 2016 - Issue 1

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Inside this Edition:
  1. Happy New Year to All Members!
  2. OSBA Special Bulletin - Dec. 21, 2015
  3. Reminder: OSBA Webinar - January 13, 2016
  4. P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program - Jan. 30 - SOLD OUT!
  5. Cummins Improves Fuel Efficiency in 2017 Engine Lineup
  6. P.R.I.D.E. Programs - Jan. 10-15 & Jan. 31-Feb. 5 - SOLD OUT!
  7. Upcoming 2016 Events
Happy New Year to All Members!

2015 has come and gone.  OSBA is very pleased to have enjoyed and assisted its members over the past year.  We look forward to a new year that brings new opportunities and challenges in which to work together to build a strong and cohesive student transportation industry in Ontario.  Wishing all members and their families a happy, healthy, safe and peaceful New Year!

OSBA Special Bulletin - Dec. 21, 2015

OSBA Meets with Minister of Education Liz Sandals

OSBA President Les Cross, Vice President Mark Begg, Director Dave Harris and OSBA government relations consultant Rick Donaldson met with Minister Sandals on Dec. 2, 2015 and continued to emphasize the following important industry issues:

  1. That an average annual increase of 1% that has been passed onto student transportation contractors is not satisfactory to maintain the safety and viability of student transportation in Ontario. Bus companies can no longer singularly sustain the financial pressures of student transportation requirements, particularly with items such as new vehicle price increases.
  2. That the issue of Ontario school bus driver wages compared to public transit drivers in Ontario and to school bus drivers in other provinces, are the lowest in all of Canada and must be addressed.
  3. That the Minister must follow through on Premier Wynne’s commitment of Jun. 2, 2014 to review student transportation benchmarks (re: 2007 Deloitte Benchmark Study).

Minister Sandals agreed to look at a new student transportation funding model but unfortunately, not before the 2016-2017 school year.  The Minister also advised that the competitive procurement report submitted by the Student Transportation Review Team (Colin Campbell) is expected to be released in early January with Ministry actions.  Once again, Minister Sandals took note of OSBA’s above mentioned concerns and agreed to look into matters.  OSBA will continue to keep members informed.  Comments and suggestions are always welcome to or contact OSBA President Les Cross directly at or 705.229.6835.
OSBA Meets with Education Assistant Deputy Minister Gabriel Sekaly

OSBA requested to meet with Ministry of Education Assistant Deputy Minister Gabriel Sekaly and Cherie Hayward.  This meeting occurred on Dec. 16, 2015 with OSBA President Les Cross, Director Jim Switzer and government relations consultant Rick Donaldson.  The purpose of the meeting was to share the same industry issues with the senior ministry staff as was discussed with the Minister in the earlier meeting.  We had a full 90 minutes with staff and reiterated examples of how the current student transportation funding is not addressing the need for new vehicle replacements, resolving the long standing low driver wage component in the old benchmark study.  We were advised of staff work on developing a process to gather industry and school board officials to address the student funding model.  We urged an announcement early in 2016.
OSBA Meets with Former MPP Garfield Dunlop

OSBA (Les Cross and Rick Donaldson)  also met with former Simcoe area MPP Garfield Dunlop and now Senior Advisor, Education to the PC Caucus on Dec. 16, 2015 to update him on the industry issues we addressed in meetings with the Minister and senior ministry officials.  We committed to share with him Ministry announcements and OSBA’s response to the release of the Campbell Report.  He acknowledged his long affiliation with our Association and offered his Office and role with the Official Opposition to push for action.
OSBA and ISBOA Meeting

Members of the OSBA Board of Directors and Independent School Bus Operators Association (ISBOA) Executive Committee met on Nov. 12, 2015 to discuss a variety of issues, including the future practicality of two school bus associations in Ontario.  It was noted by both Associations, that the school bus industry is stronger together, particularly regarding the issue of fair, transparent, effective and efficient competitive procurement processes.  It was agreed that for the immediate future, working together on joint industry and safety issues and submissions would be a beneficial service for members of both associations.  It was also agreed that a “white paper” be developed to examine and ensure that the needs of school bus operators in Ontario are well known and communicated.  By definition, a “white paper” is “An authoritative report or guide that informs readers concisely about a complex issue and presents the issuing body's philosophy on the matter.  It is meant to help readers understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision.”  Your feedback and comments on this matter or any OSBA issue, are always appreciated to or contact OSBA President Les Cross directly at or 705.229.6835.
OSBA RFP Workshop – “Bid Responsibly!”

A workshop was conducted on Dec. 10, 2015 at the International Plaza Hotel as well as via teleconference for the purposes of providing information about general RFP considerations, along with matters related to particular aspects of the Toronto RFP.  A total of 66 participants pre-registered from both OSBA member and non-member companies.  The workshop presenter was Jack Senechal of the Dijon Group.  Survey feedback from participants included:

  • “I found the workshop to be extremely helpful.”
  • “Overall it was good.  Pointed out some of the risks.”
  • “Speaker was excellent.”
  • “It provided insight from a different perspective which is always helpful.”
  • “I thought it was very helpful and I am glad that I participated.”

OSBA President Les Cross noted, “Whether or not a company wins or loses a bid, there is always a valuable learning component for all parties.  We hope that this workshop provided a better understanding of the pressure points in an RFP document, especially the risks, costs and operating parameters of bidding responsibly.”  Stay tuned for information regarding future workshops!

Reminder: OSBA Webinar - January 13, 2016

If you haven’t already registered for the Jan. 13 OSBA member webinar, please click here to do so. Only 45 minutes of time to receive valuable information on important student transportation safety and regulatory issues listed below - 10:00-10:45 am EDT.

The following topics will be presented by OSBA Safety and Legislative Consultant Dave Carroll:
  1. Blocking intersections while loading / unloading students 
  2. Stopping at abandoned / decommissioned railway tracks 
  3. Auditor General’s Concerns over School Bus Safety 
  4. How is the passenger capacity of a school bus determined? 
  5. Restrictions on passengers riding in the front seat of mini-vans 
  6. Update on school bus markings/lettering 
  7. School Bus Speeding 
  8. OSBA daily Inspection logbooks – be sure drivers are using the current version 
  9. PMVI Inspections – Techs must use National Standard Code Standard 11B and report forms as of January 1, 2016 
The goal of these webinars is to provide attendees with essential operational and safety data not frequently published or easily resourced.  Significant, day-to-day performance information is provided that could contribute to changing the way you do business!  REGISTER TODAY!
P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program - Jan. 30 - SOLD OUT!

The Jan. 30 P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program is sold out.  The next program available is Feb. 25.  If sufficient demand/enrollment, an additional program could potentially be organized between Jan. 30 and Feb. 25.

Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. 2016 Recertification Program Dates:
  • January 30 - SOLD OUT
  • February 25
  • March 12
  • April 20
  • June 22
  • September 28
  • November 23
Program location: Admiral Inn Burlington.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information –
Cummins Improves Fuel Efficiency in 2017 Engine Lineup

Article By: School Transportation News (STN)
Article Date: January 4, 2016

Cummins Inc. has received certification for its lineup of on-highway diesel and natural gas engines from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The endorsement meets both the current EPA regulations and the future greenhouse gas (GHG) and fuel-efficiency standards that go into effect in Jan. 2017.

For the past two years, Cummins has implemented enhancements that enable its engines to meet EPA 2016 and GHG 2017 requirements.

As a result, the company announced that fuel efficiency for its the commercial vehicle engine lineup has improved from 5.0 liters to 15 liters, and enhanced monitors and quality sensors ensure exhaust tailpipe emissions stay within the EPA limits.

“Efficiency improvements implemented in the 2016 ISX15 400 hp-to-475 hp ratings will provide customers with fuel economy gains over the 2013 ISX15, ranging from 2.5 percent on the base engine up to 7.5,” said Amy Boerger, vice president of sales and support.

Cummins also reported that it plans to incorporate further product enhancements to improve performance, reliability and efficiency throughout 2016.

“Cummins is committed to providing customer-focused innovation as soon as it is ready,” said Boerger.
P.R.I.D.E. Programs - Jan. 10-15 and Jan. 31- Feb. 5 - SOLD OUT!

The Jan. 10-15 P.R.I.D.E. Program is sold out!  An additional program was organized Jan. 31- Feb. 5 in order to meet high demand and it sold out as well.  There are only a few spots left in March 13-18 (March Break) program. Don’t be disappointed – complete and email your registration form today!

Link to the 2016 P.R.I.D.E. Program brochure including the registration form: 

2016 P.R.I.D.E. Program Dates:
  • January 10-15 - SOLD OUT
  • January 31- February 5 - SOLD OUT
  • March 13-18 (March Break)
  • May 1-6
  • July 10-15
  • August 7-12
  • October 16-21 
For more information - please visit or contact
Upcoming 2016 Events
Jan. 13 OSBA Webinar
Jan. 10-15 Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program
Jan. 30 P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program
Jan. 31-Feb. 5 Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program
Feb. 25 P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program
Mar. 12 P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program
Mar. 13-18 Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program
Mar. 15-18 Alberta Student Transportation Advisory Council (ASTAC) – Annual Conference
Mar. 30-Apr. 1 Student Transportation Association of Saskatchewan (STAS) – Annual Conference
Apr. 16-21 Canadian Pupil Transportation Conference (CPTC)
Apr. 20 P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program
Apr. 24-27 Ontario Transportation Expo (OTE) – Conference – International Plaza Hotel, Toronto
Apr. 26 Ontario Transportation Expo (OTE) – Trade Show – International Centre (Hall #5), Toronto
May 1-6 Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program
May 9-11 Association of School Business Officials of Alberta (ASBOA) – Annual Conference and Trade Show
May 25 OSBA Webinar
Jun. 22 P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program
Jul. 10-15 Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program
Aug. 7-12 Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program
Sept. 28 P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program
Oct. 16-21 Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program
Oct. 19 OSBA Webinar
Nov. 23 P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program
Copyright © 2016 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:
3401 Wolfedale Road, Mississauga, ON, L5C 1V8
Tel.416.695.9965 Fax 416.695.9977 |
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