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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.  
April 28, 2015 - Issue 9

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Inside this Edition:
  1. School Bus Safety Record is Second to None - OSBA's Robust and Quick Response
  2. New Pictorial Sign at Railway Crossing in Nepean Prompts Questions from Some School Bus Drivers
  3. Proposed Procurement for School Bus Transportation of Special Needs Students
  4. Proposed Procurement for Highway Coach Transportation on a Weekly Basis of Special Needs Students
  5. Parking Available During Pan Am Games
  6. Upcoming Events
School Bus Safety Record is Second to None - OSBA's Robust and Quick Response

On April 28, 2015 an article appeared in the Toronto Star which could leave the reader questioning the safety of school bus transportation in Toronto.  The article can be seen at the following link:  http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/04/27/1500-school-bus-crashes-since-2010-but-contractor-info-remains-secret.html  OSBA has responded with a ‘Letter to the Editor’ as well as a direct email with the following information, to the article author.  On-line comments were also posted at the bottom of the article.  The article mentions there were over 1,500 crashes since 2010, however the vast majority of these were minor bumps and scrapes, bent mirrors, etc. many of which fall into the reportable accident category only by virtue of a “report all and any” collision policy contained in school bus operator contracts.  If only collisions that met the Highway Traffic Act criteria for a “reportable collision” were counted (damage exceeding $1,000 or personal injury) over the five year period, the number would be substantially lower. The article also does not address how many of the 1,557 collisions were not the fault of the school bus driver, for example, buses hit from behind or sideswiped by other motorists.  Also mentioned is the number of injuries on a school bus.  Again, all injuries such as slips, falls and bumps and bruises are reported and may not be the result of any vehicle accident.   Reporting of all incidents and injuries does not necessarily reference occurrences attributed to collisions. 

Collision numbers without context don’t paint the real picture. According to the Toronto Student Transportation Group, every school day 1,700 school buses transport 56,617 students over a distance of 71,241 km. Over the course of five years, that’s a distance of 70 million km. So while even one student injury is too many, when viewed in perspective, the school bus transportation safety record is exemplary. As noted by the author in the last paragraph, the Canada Safety Council says riding in a school bus is 16 times safer than riding in the family car, a statistic often quoted by Transport Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.

School bus safety doesn’t just happen, it’s the result of a comprehensive and multi-faceted safety regimen comprised of: a robust federal school bus manufacturing standard; provincial and federal equipment standards; stringent provincial equipment inspections (daily and periodic); rigorous provincial driver licensing criteria (driver qualifications and testing); driver performance monitoring; and MTO inspections, audits and automated carrier performance monitoring system.

School bus companies across the province make it their mission to safely and reliably transport some 800,000 children to and from school each day travelling a distance equal to fifty times the circumference of the earth. That’s 300 million safe rides each school year. Dedicated bus companies and drivers like those operating in Toronto uphold an uncompromised commitment to student safety and continue to perpetuate a safety culture that characterizes the industry.  

For comments or further information, please contact:  Les Cross, President, Ontario School Bus Association (OSBA), 705.229.6835, 
president@osba.on.ca
New Pictorial Sign at Railway Crossing in Nepean Prompts Questions from Some School Bus Drivers

Recently, school bus drivers spotted a new sign posted at a level crossing on Greenbank Road in Nepean, ON. This new pictorial sign was posted in place of the traditional worded sign, “DO NOT STOP ON TRACKS”. Having never seen this sign before, some school bus drivers were asking if this sign means that they are not required to stop and open the door in accordance with HTA 174(2) before crossing the tracks.  School bus drivers should be advised of the meaning of this sign (“DO NOT STOP ON TRACKS”) and that they must always stop in accordance with HTA 174(2) before proceeding across the railway tracks at all level rail crossings.  OSBA contacted both the MTO and City of Ottawa to inquire as to the status of this new sign. We discovered that the sign is not presently included in the Ontario Traffic Manual.  OSBA expressed concern to the Ministry’s Road User Safety Division about the use of a pictorial sign that is not included in any of the MTO’s Official Driver Handbooks, nor does it appear on the Ministry’s knowledge test (road signs) papers. The matter has been referred to the Ministry’s Provincial Highways Management Division for further investigation.
Proposed Procurement for School Bus Transportation of Special Needs Students

A Notice of Proposed Procurement NPP-15-01/OSS-00522027 for weekly School Bus Transportation of Special Needs Students from around the province to the provincial schools located in Belleville, Brantford, London and Milton has been posted on the Ontario E-Tendering Website: https://ontariotenders.bravosolution.com/esop/nac-host/public/home.html
  • When you reach the Ontario eTendering website, click on the French or English portal.
  • Under the “Active Opportunities” heading, click on “To View and Search Current Tender Opportunities
  • Scroll down to the bottom of this page, far right, click on 4th page and refer to above “Project Reference” number and name.
  • Click on individual “Project Title”.
The RFP document will be posted on this site on or around May 19, 2015.  To receive notice and to download the RFP documents you will need to create a vendor profile on the site.  The web address is https://ontariotenders.bravosolution.com/esop/nac-host/public/home.htmlAny questions about registering on the service should be directed to BravoSolution (website administrator) at eTenderhelp_CA@bravosolution.com  or by telephone at 1-866-722-7390.
Proposed Procurement for Highway Coach Transportation on a Weekly Basis of Special Needs Students

A Notice of Proposed Procurement NPP-15-02/OSS-00522185 for Highway Coach Transportation on a weekly basis of Special Needs Students from around the province to the provincial schools located in Belleville, Brantford, London and Milton has been posted on the Ontario E-Tendering Website: https://ontariotenders.bravosolution.com/esop/nac-host/public/home.html
  • When you reach the Ontario eTendering website, click on the French or English portal.
  • Under the “Active Opportunities” heading, click on “To View and Search Current Tender Opportunities
  • Scroll down to the bottom of this page, far right, click on 4th page and refer to above “Project Reference” number and name.
  • Click on individual “Project Title”.
The RFP document will be posted on this site on or around May 19, 2015.  To receive notice and to download the RFP documents you will need to create a vendor profile on the site.  The web address is https://ontariotenders.bravosolution.com/esop/nac-host/public/home.htmlAny questions about registering on the service should be directed to BravoSolution (website administrator) at eTenderhelp_CA@bravosolution.com  or by telephone at 1-866-722-7390.
Parking Available During Pan Am Games

The upcoming Pan Am Games will create a need to find adequate and affordable parking during the Pan Am / Parapan Am Games.  “Downtown Storage” has 25 acres of outdoor storage space available for parking large vehicles in downtown Toronto.  The location is 324 Cherry Street and Lakeshore Blvd. (1 block east of Parliament Street), just off the Gardiner Expressway and the DVP.  This location advises OSBA that they have on-site security and a 10% discount for new customers for the 1st month.  For more information, directly contact: Cindy Koury, Downtown Storage, 416-721-1655, cindy.storagespace@gmail.com  NOTE:  OSBA is not recommending or endorsing this company or this location for parking, but simply advising members of this information.  OSBA will not accept any liability or responsibility for any occurrences or activities in relation to members’ decisions to enter into discussions or agreements with “Downtown Storage”.
Upcoming Events

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

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
Copyright © 2015 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  
info@osba.on.ca | www.osba.on.ca
SUBMISSIONS WELCOME
Please address all enquiries and submissions to info@osba.on.ca  Opinions expressed do not necessarily express the opinions of the OSBA or its Board of Directors. Nor does acceptance of advertising constitute endorsement.