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 29, 2017 - Issue 7

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Inside this Edition:
  1. Bill 94, Highway Traffic Amendment Act (School Bus Camera Systems), 2017​
  2. Transport Canada Proposes Guidelines for Optional Seat Belts Installed in School Buses​
  3. MOECC - Vehicle Emission Inspections and Compliance
  4. Student Transportation – Let’s Have a New Conversation!
  5. Preparing Proposals for School Bus Contracts
  6. Award Honors Crossing Guard for Helping Enhance School Zone Safety
  7. Next P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program Is Around the Corner – Register Today!
  8. York Region Transit to Pioneer Electric Bus Trial
  9. High-Tech School Bus 'Study Hall' Helps South Carolina Students​
  10. How School Bus Driving Champ Larry Hannon Prepares for Safety Competitions​
  11. Upcoming Events
Bill 94, Highway Traffic Amendment Act (School Bus Camera Systems), 2017

On February 21, 2017, a private members bill (Bill 94) was introduced in the Ontario Legislature to propose amendments to the Highway Traffic Act to allow the use of video evidence to prosecute drivers who fail to stop for school buses with their overhead lights flashing (blow-by's).

While stop arm cameras are currently permitted and in use on some school buses, this Bill would propose changes to how the video recording is used.  It would be the first step in allowing stop arm camera video to be used as “stand alone evidence” which is similar to red light camera evidence.  OSBA believes these proposals are a step in the right direction as they have the potential to improve school bus safety and reduce the need for school bus drivers to record details of each blow-by.

Bill 94 has passed first and second reading and has now been referred to the Standing Committee on Social Policy, where the Bill will be reviewed in more detail.  In addition, there is an opportunity to comment on the proposal. This can be done through written submissions as well as by requesting to speak in front of the Committee as part of the review process.  Currently, no date has been set for the Committee to review Bill 94.

More information regarding the bill can be viewed here

Information regarding Committee participation can be viewed here

For further information, please contact Alex Bugeya – or 416-695-9965 Ext. 4
Transport Canada Proposes Guidelines for Optional Seat Belts Installed in School Buses

On March 18, 2017, Transport Canada published a proposal to the Canadian Gazette that would impact optionally installed seat belts in school buses.  The objectives of the proposal, as it relates to school buses, is to introduce minimum requirements for optional seat belts by ensuring that lap-only seat belts cannot be installed, and that all seat belts which are optionally installed, are installed correctly.

Key elements of the proposal include:
  • Increased seat back height (already required under CSA D250-16)
  • Changes to seat belt anchors for the driver’s seat belt and any optionally installed passenger seat belts (upper section cannot be detached from lower section, cannot be detached from an anchor point and must have emergency/automatic locking retractor)
  • Optionally installed passenger seat belts must be 3-point belts and meet anchorage/testing requirements​
Transport Canada continues to stress that school bus travel is the safest means for transporting children to and from school and that children are over 16 times more likely to be killed walking to school when compared to taking the school bus.  However, as there are no federal regulations for passenger seat belt installation in school buses, part of this proposal is to address the use of lap-only belts, where Transport Canada’s states “in certain collisions, lap-only belts can increase injury risk compared to existing compartmentalization features.”

While this proposal is not mandating seat belts on school buses, it does provide insight into some considerations on the subject.  Contained in the “Background” section of the publication, Transport Canada makes reference to a 2011 US report on the implications of mandating seat belts in school buses, indicating; “School bus procurement budgets are limited and it was found that the increased cost of the mandatory installation of seat belts would result in fewer school bus purchases. This would lead to fewer children being transported in school buses, placing school children at greater risk of injury and fatality from the use of other modes of transportation.”

The posting of the proposal to the Canadian Gazette, Part I is open for comments for a 75 day period.

Information regarding the proposal and how to provide comments can be viewed here.

For further information, please contact Alex Bugeya – or 416-695-9965 Ext. 4
MOECC - Vehicle Emission Inspections and Compliance

Further to OSBA's previous communications - Below is a survey ( from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) that OSBA has agreed to distribute on their behalf.  Could you please submit your survey response by Fri. March 31, 2017. Survey link:


OSBA encourages participation in this survey, as it is an excellent opportunity to:
  • Understand a bus operator’s mandatory responsibilities regarding vehicle emission standards monitoring, maintenance practices and record keeping.
  • Assist in the development of innovative compliance approaches that reduce the need for field inspections.
  • Collaborate with the MOECC – Vehicle Emissions and Enforcement Program.

The MOECC is currently undertaking a project to evaluate and promote school bus industry compliance with vehicle emission standards.  MOECC’s mandate is to promote healthier communities through the protection of Ontario’s air, land and water.  Subsequently, the function of MOECC’s Vehicle Emissions Enforcement Program is to encourage compliance with the Environmental Protection Act and Ontario Regulation 361/98 – Motor Vehicles in order to reduce air pollutants from motor vehicles.

It is hoped that survey results will provide MOECC with a better understanding of current school bus industry practices towards vehicle emission standards and assist in identifying possible education needs.  The survey will also obtain feedback to develop a compliance process in the school bus industry, required under MOECC’s purview as a government regulator.

MORE DETAILS regarding the survey are provided via the survey link:

QUESTIONS - please feel free to contact MOECC directly - or OSBA’s Safety and Legislation Consultant Alex Bugeya at 416.695.9965 Ext. 4 or 
Student Transportation – Let’s Have a New Conversation!

REGISTER TODAY for the Ontario Transportation Expo (OTE) – April 9-12, 2017 at the International Plaza Hotel –Toronto!
“Student Transportation – Let’s Have a New Conversation!” on Monday, April 10th from 11:00am – 12:00pm.  Mark Begg, General Manager of Delaney Bus Lines and OSBA President, will provide the latest OSBA information regarding activities such as joint OSBA/ISBOA initiatives, inter-community bus modernization - regulation vs. deregulation, Ontario’s adoption of the eight-lamp warning light system, expiry of the handheld radio exemption, seat belts on school buses, and of course, competitive procurement.
This session will also include a special conversation -
“A Dialogue To Align on Sustainability Challenges” such as driver recruitment and retention, and other potential barriers to consortia and operator success, presented by Renée Boucher from OASBO and Perry Ferguson from OSBA.  The conversation will discuss a roadmap on how consortia and operators can work together to create strategies to effectively deal with business challenges and attract more drivers to the school bus industry, perspectives on employment practices and industry “norms” and opportunities for driver retention in the future. Bring your thoughts and ideas to the discussion on ways to better align all stakeholders to tackle these important issues that affect everyone!
Learn more about all OTE business sessions by viewing the full program agenda here. 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”.
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.
Preparing Proposals for School Bus Contracts

Preparing Proposals for School Bus Contracts Facilitated by KPMG Canada, this session at the 2017 OTE will highlight key points of the Broader Public Sector Procurement Directive (BPSPD), explore how the Directive impacts service procurement contracts across Ontario, and discuss potential future market trends.  The discussion will then address the basics and more advanced strategies for preparing proposals to win work, including providing insights for measuring costs within student transportation services which will help attendees understand the costs associated with their business, as well as how they apply to certain contract commitments.  Join us on Monday, April 10th from 3:30pm4:30pm to hear this valuable information!
Skill Sets and Professional Development Needs in Today’s School Bus Industry Also taking place at OTE on
Monday, April 10th 2:30pm3:15pm, this interactive session will be lead by members of the Certificate in Pupil Transportation Management (PTM) Planning Committee. The speakers will equip attendees with information about the changing demands on student transportation organizations, and the skill set trends coming on line for today’s student transportation workforce.  The session will also provide information about the Certificate in Pupil Management program, highlighting the alignment between the skill sets needed and the training provided through the program. Attendees will learn about the importance of every level of an organization to understand the full picture of how their day-to-day decisions can impact contracts, stakeholder’s expectations, and overall organizational performance.  Speakers will include the Certificate in Pupil Transportation Management (PTM) Planning Committee members and Dr. Beverley Fretz from the University of Guelph, OpenEd.
Learn more about all OTE business sessions by viewing the full program agenda here.
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.
Award Honors Crossing Guard for Helping Enhance School Zone Safety

Article Source: School Bus Fleet (Lake Orion, MI)
Article Date: March 27, 2017

A school crossing guard was recently honored by a nonprofit that focuses on child safety for going above and beyond to protect children on their way to and from school. 

Penni Robertson, known for her positive attitude and unyielding commitment to students, was named America’s Favorite Crossing Guard in a morning assembly in front of students, parents, faculty, and elected officials at Carpenter Elementary. 

Robertson, the inaugural recipient of the honor, awarded by Safe Kids Worldwide, was selected from nominations from across the country.

“Penni is a shining light for the children at Carpenter,” said Adam Welton, principal of Carpenter Elementary. “She braves rain, snow, wind, and any element. She uses her own limited resources to help feed and clothe children in our building. She even drives one of our students to school every day because he doesn't have a ride. And there’s so much more that makes her worthy of America’s Favorite Crossing Guard.”

A research report released in October by Safe Kids Worldwide, made possible with support from FedEx, revealed that school zones can be unsafe places for students. The research, “Alarming Dangers in School Zones,” is an observational study that included 39,000 pedestrians and 56,000 motorists in school zones and recorded risky behaviors, including distracted walking by students, distracted driving by those dropping them off, unsafe speed limits, unmarked crosswalks, and limited crossing guards.

The research revealed that about 80% of students were observed crossing the street in an unsafe manner. Additionally, nearly one in three drivers displayed unsafe behaviors that endangered student pedestrians, such as texting, double parking, or blocking a crosswalk. View an infographic of the findings 

Safe Kids and FedEx launched the America’s Favorite Crossing Guard campaign to raise awareness about the contribution that crossing guards make to protect kids in school zones.

“With teen pedestrian deaths on the rise and kids and drivers more distracted than ever, crossing guards are our unsung champions,” said Kristin Rosenthal, program manager for U.S. pedestrian and bike safety at Safe Kids Worldwide. “They are out there rain or shine, even on the coldest of winter mornings, to ensure a safe journey for our kids around schools. Penni is one of many wonderful crossing guards around the country who deserve our gratitude.”

Robertson, who joined Carpenter Elementary in 2012, has worked as a staff associate and crossing guard since 2013.

“This is a great honor and something I never expected,” said Robertson, who has two children, Gaven, 15, and Gage, 13. “I feel very lucky to have the chance to make an impact in the lives of the kids at our school. I just love the daily interactions I get to have with not only the kids, but the school community as well.”

The America’s Favorite Crossing Guard program will continue in 2017. For more information about the initiative and how to nominate a crossing guard, go to
Next P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program Is Around the Corner – Register Today!

There are only two spaces remaining in the next P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program scheduled on April 27, 2017. If you have received notification from the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) to renew your Signing Authority, the P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program is the one for you!  Not only will you receive your recertification, you will refresh your training and facilitation skills, expertise and knowledge, and network with seasoned driver trainers and Signing Authorities. 
Here is what previous program participants have said:
  • The program was informative, comprehensive, helpful and interesting.  It was fun while learning. 
  • It is always valuable to meet new people with new ideas.  It’s also great to remind us how to manage our time better.
  • Excellent review of training practices in a practical form.
  • Review of teaching techniques with a scripted training program was most valuable along with watching and marking presentations.
  • Very informative program, I learned a lot today.  It was a long day but there was lots of information.  I enjoyed the whole day.
Recertification programs scheduled for the balance of 2017:
  • June 21
  • July 8
  • October 26
  • December 6
Send in your registration form today! 
P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Programs are held at the Admiral Inn Burlington,  Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact us for further information –
York Region Transit to Pioneer Electric Bus Trial

Article Source: Yahoo Finance (Newmarket, ON)
Article Date: March 27, 2017

The Regional Municipality of York has confirmed its involvement in the Pan-Ontario Electric Bus Demonstration and Integration Trial by approving the purchase of six fully battery electric transit vehicles to operate in the Town of Newmarket, Ontario. The Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) brought York Region Transit together with funding partners, research teams, technology tools, and manufacturing stakeholders. The York Region project is unique as it is the first time an e-bus project is being supported by a power provider, Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution Limited (NTPDL). They have pledged to purchase and maintain the overhead on-route charger in Newmarket to power the transit vehicles.

“This two-year trial will test and evaluate electric buses manufactured by two Canadian bus manufacturers, New Flyer Industries in Manitoba and Nova Bus from Quebec,” says CUTRIC Executive Director & CEO Josipa Petrunic. “It is a groundbreaking collaboration with partnerships between York Region, transit manufacturers, charging station manufacturers and local power distributor, Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution Limited.”

“This project is the first of its kind collaboration that has a power distributor, Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution Limited, that plans to purchase and operate an on-route charging station,” says Petrunic. “The design and delivery of this interoperable charging system for on-route charged e-buses are a true partnership.”

The Regional Municipality of York will purchase six electric powered heavy-duty transit buses from two Canadian transit vehicle manufacturers (four buses from New Flyer Industries of Winnipeg, Manitoba and two buses from Nova Bus, of St. Eustache, Quebec).   As part of this trial, overhead-charging stations will be designed and manufactured by Siemens and ABB Group. Both manufacturers will produce the pole mounted pantograph system that uses an open protocol known as the OppCharge protocol ( – first jointly developed by Siemens and Volvo Bus Corporation. The protocol standardizes the design of the robotic off-board pantograph that connects the charging station to the bus, communications between the bus and the charger, and performance metrics of the overall system.

The trial aims to encourage long-term job growth in e-bus manufacturing and overhead charging system design and development in Canada in the future.

York Region Transit is joining a consortium of partners in several jurisdictions in Canada that have collectively sought financial support from the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and several municipal jurisdictions. The trial will integrate proposed neutral third-party vehicle and system analyses by the National Research Council of Canada, the University of Ontario – Institute of Technology, York University, Brock University, University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières, and the University of Victoria. St. Clair College will also help to lead the development of a training program for e-bus and charging system maintenance staff.

“Our research estimates immediate Green House Gas (GHG) reductions calculated at approximately 988 tonnes of CO2 per annum as a result of the trial on the transit routes in Newmarket,” affirms Petrunic. “This trial will deliver on-the-ground testing and results that will prove the viability of electric buses in reducing GHGs from transportation sources and offer a direct solution to help Ontario meet its climate change objectives,” states Petrunic.

“CUTRIC is very happy to have helped foster this industry-led collaboration in low-carbon mobility innovations, and zero-emissions transportation solutions put into practice in York Region,” closes Petrunic. “These projects prove Canadian innovators are ready to support Canada's climate change commitments with emissions-reducing transportation technologies.”
High-Tech School Bus 'Study Hall' Helps South Carolina Students

Article Source: School Transportation News (Berkeley County, SC)
Article Date: March 27, 2017

Tech giant Google has invested nearly $180,000 for South Carolina's first “Rolling Study Hall” initiative. The money was used to provide Wi-Fi on 28 of 194 buses that drive to and from the Title I Schools. The company also provided Chromebooks, according to 
Fox News

Lilyn Hester, a spokesperson for Google, says the “Rolling Study Hall Initiative” is an investment in young people. Their goal is to prepare children for future jobs. 

“It opens up the world to these young children,” Hester told Fox News. “At Google we don’t want the fact that they do not have access to the internet or devices to be a barrier.” 

Most families in Berkeley County lack internet access, but now 1,700 students have laptops and Wi-Fi access to complete their assignments.

Kimberly Council, a teacher at St. Stephen Elementary School says teaching doesn’t stop once the kids leave the classroom. After teaching a full day she gets on the bus right along with her students. 

Many of the students have a two-hour commute before making it home, which gives them plenty of time to complete their assignments and they have a teacher, like Council, on the bus to answer any questions they may have.  

“Teachers say they see a big improvement in the grades because of the fact that they can continue on the Chromebooks on the bus. It gives them something to do while they take the long ride. It keeps them motivated,” Council said.  

A filtration system is installed on each device, preventing students from surfing on inappropriate sites according to Diane Driggers, executive director of technology at Berkeley County School District.

Council says the work is rewarding. “I feel as though if I can just do a small portion to help the students and help the parents that don’t have Wi-Fi, that can’t help their kids with their homework. It makes me go home and know I did something to make a difference in that child’s life.”
How School Bus Driving Champ Larry Hannon Prepares for Safety Competitions

Article Source: School Bus Fleet (US and Canada)
Article Date: March 28, 2017

For Larry Hannon Sr., studying CDL manuals and practicing driving skills are only part of the process for getting ready for school bus safety competitions.

“It’s mental preparation, too,” Hannon said. “It’s definitely mentally draining. You’re thinking of every event — especially when you get to the international level.”

If anyone could be considered an all-star in competitive school bus driving, it’s Hannon, who has racked up about four decades of experience and multiple championship titles. He started working as a school bus driver in 1976 and entered his first safety competition (aka roadeo) two years later.
Since then, Hannon, who has been driving for Pennsylvania’s Centennial School District for his entire career, said that he has taken part in “well over 100” school bus safety competitions at the local, state, and international levels.

Along with numerous state titles, Hannon has placed first, nine times at the School Bus Driver International Safety Competition — which could be considered the World Series for school bus drivers from across the U.S. and Canada.

Still, even with his extensive experience, Hannon spends considerable time training for school bus safety competitions: In a year in which he competes three times, he puts in about 10 hours of studying and 25 hours of driving skills practice. His annual process starts with reviewing CDL manuals.

When the weather permits, Hannon and other Centennial School District drivers who are preparing for their local competition — including his son, Larry Hannon Jr. — practice field events on weekends or weekday evenings.

Along with a pre-trip inspection, field events typically test a wide variety of driving skills, like turns, backing, straight line, railroad crossings, parallel parking, and diminishing clearance.

In any state or Canadian province, a total of six drivers per year can qualify for the School Bus Driver International Safety Competition. That can include two drivers (one public sector, one private sector) in each school bus category: transit class (Type D), conventional class (Type C), and small bus class (Type A).

The National School Transportation Association hosts the School Bus Driver International Safety Competition each year. The 2017 event will be held on July 16 in Indianapolis. (For more details, go to
Upcoming Events
Apr. 2-7 Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program  - FULL
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 - FULL
May 17 OSBA Webinar
June 21 P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program
July 8 P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program
July 9-14 Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program - FULL
Aug. 13-18 Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program - FULL
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:
3075 Lenworth Drive, Mississauga, ON, L4X 2G3
Tel.416.695.9965 Fax 416.695.9977 |
Please address all enquiries and submissions to  Opinions expressed do not necessarily express the opinions of the OSBA or its Board of Directors. Nor does acceptance of advertising constitute endorsement.

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School Bus Ontario (SBO) · 3075 Lenworth Drive · Mississauga, ON L4X 2G3 · Canada

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