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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.  
September 1, 2015 - Issue 18

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Inside this Edition:
  1. Markings, Lettering, Logos, Slogan, Emblems on School Buses
  2. CSA Welcomes Comments on the Next Version of the CSA D250 Standard for School Buses - CSA D250 - 16
  3. Aurora DriveTest Centre Temporarily Relocating to Richmond Hill
  4. MTO Increasing Driver Testing Fees
  5. Driver and Vehicle Licence Fees Increases
  6. Alternative Uses for School Buses
  7. School Bus Drivers, Once in Short Supply, Now Abundant
  8. OSBA Needs Your OTE Ideas!
  9. ASV's Collins Bus Delivers First Production Units of Its NEXBUS CNG Type A School Bus
  10. New Laws Designed to Make Ontario's Roads Safer Take Effect September 1, 2015
  11. 2015 P.R.I.D.E. Program Update
  12. Upcoming Events
Markings, Lettering, Logos, Slogans, Emblems on School Buses

Several OSBA bus operator members have been told by MTO officers that the lettering and/or markings (including company slogans and logos) on their school buses contravene the CSA D250 Standard, and hence are in violation of Regulation 612 of the HTA. In some cases, bus operators have been told to have the lettering or markings changed.

The pertinent sections of CSA D250 are subsections 4.4 and 6.4.2.  These sections say that the “uncluttered yellow colour scheme” of a school bus cannot be compromised, and that lettering on the bus body shall be black.

The intent of these sections is to keep Ontario’s school bus fleet uniform and consistent in appearance. The rationale being that Ontario’s school bus fleet is safer if school buses look more or less the same and without any markings, graphics and extra colour that could create a distraction or confuse students and other road users. 

OSBA fundamentally agrees with and supports this rationale, but we feel some latitude should be allowed for buses to be marked with the operator`s name and perhaps a slogan or logo and unit numbers other than just in black. For decades, thousands of school buses in Ontario have operated with markings that are not black. It is only recently (the last year or so) that some MTO officers began voicing concerns. We attribute this to a couple of things:
  1. MTO Officer training on the D250 Standard has increased in the past few years in order to enforce the requirement in Regulation 612 for operators of school buses manufactured after June 1, 2000 to continue to maintain the bus to the Standard to which the bus was originally manufactured 
  2. An increase in the past few years of private schools and colleges liberally applying colour, graphics and school emblems which cover a substantial area of the bus
OSBA expressed its concerns to MTO and suggested that MTO should work with the industry to come up with enforcement guidelines so that the intent of the Standard is met and for MTO to achieve its compliance objectives while allowing bus operators some latitude when it comes to markings and lettering. ISBOA also expressed concerns to MTO for the same reasons. Both associations together met with MTO in June 2015. MTO listened to our concerns and agreed to consider our recommendations. MTO is well on the way to issuing enforcement guidelines to their officers and is expected to be released within the next few weeks.

While the MTO has yet to finalize its enforcement guidelines, based on our discussions to date we believe it will basically resemble the following when it comes to markings and lettering. [It should be noted this is not yet official MTO policy, and is subject to change]
  • Operator may use the space between the two upper rub-rails to display their name, and can use any colour of lettering, provided the letters are applied on a chrome-yellow background
  • Operator can place a graphic/symbol and slogan/tag line in addition to the operator’s name, within the same space between the two upper rub rails, provided the background is chrome yellow
  • Operator may display their name and contact information in any other location on the side of the bus within a 30 cm square space using black lettering only on a chrome yellow background
  • For smaller Type A1 buses with limited space between the two upper rub rails, the operator may display their name, logo and tag line/slogan between the centre two rub rails
  • Buses cannot have solid (non-chrome yellow) painted areas (for example, between the rub rails)
  • Graphics, decals, logos/emblems etc. (for example private school emblems) that extend beyond the space between two rub rails are not permitted
  • Markings/lettering must not interfere with any of the prescribed markings on the bus, such as signage, the retro-reflective tape and the black hood and bumpers
  • Slogans/tag lines cannot be deemed “advertising” of a product or service, rather it must be related to/part and parcel of the operator’s brand 
  • No lettering (including operator’s name) on engine cover (hood) if it is in the line of sight of the driver. Operator’s name is permitted on hood on older buses where the leading edge of the hood is vertical and not in the driver’s line of sight
  • No lettering, markings or unit numbers on front or rear bumper. Bus manufacturer’s markings/logo is permissible
  • The optional message “This Vehicle Stops at all Railway Crossings”, if a decal, can be of any colour lettering or background provided it is placed on the glass portion of the rear emergency door. If these optional signs are applied to the bodywork of the bus, they must have black letters applied directly to the chrome yellow background
If you have any further questions, please contact Dave Carroll, OSBA’s Safety and Legislative Consultant – dave@omca.com, 416.695.9965 Ext. 4.
CSA Welcomes Comments on the Next Version of the CSA D250 Standard for School Buses - CSA D250 - 16

The next iteration of the CSA D250 School Bus Standard (CSA D250-16) has now been drafted by the CSA D250 Technical Committee on School Buses and has been posted on CSA’s website for public review. Anyone interested can read the standard and submit comments. CSA will accept comments up until October 21, 2015.  The website is: 

http://publicreview.csa.ca/Home/Details/1738

The D250 Standard specifies the chassis and body requirements and safety equipment requirements for school buses. It is a manufacturing standard intended to apply only to original equipment supplied by the bus manufacturer, however, in Ontario, a school bus operator must continue to maintain a school bus to the D250 standard under which it was manufactured, throughout the course of its life as a school bus.

This is the tenth edition of CSA D250. It will supersede the previous editions published in 2012, 2007, 2003, 2000, 1998, 1985, 1979, 1975, and 1971. CSA D270, Multi-functional activity buses, has been amalgamated into this new edition of CSA D250 8. As such, it replaces CSA D270.

As far as we can tell, there are no major changes to the standard that will significantly impact bus operators.  The following are notable changes in this new version over the current D250-12 version of the standard: 
  • Modified weight ranges for various school bus Types (harmonization with U.S. classification scheme).
  • Added provisions for vehicles powered with alternate fuel systems.
  • Clarification of chassis and body colour requirements.
  • Various improvements to requirements for emergency equipment, emergency lighting, and emergency exits.
  • Modifications to exterior lighting requirements.
  • Modifications to requirements for windows.
  • Updated requirements for lifts and seating in accessible school buses (Clause 7).
  • Integrated requirements from CSA D270 (withdrawn) on multi-function activity buses (Clause 8).
The new D250 Standard is expected to become effective November 1, 2016 after which school buses sold in Ontario must be manufactured in accordance with the new standard. The manufacturing date of the vehicle is considered to be the date on the federal compliance label.
 
Aurora DriveTest Centre Temporarily Relocating to Richmond Hill

The DriveTest Centre in Aurora will close and is being temporarily relocated to 41 Shelley Road, Richmond Hill effective August 31, 2015. The hours of operation are Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm. All services will continue to be delivered including classified road rests. A new DriveTest centre is being constructed in Newmarket which is expected to open in the winter of 2016. The 41 Shelley Road location will be a temporary location until the new centre opens in 2016.
MTO Increasing Driver Testing Fees

MTO is increasing written and road test fees effective September 1, 2015. Written test fees increase to $15.50. Road test fees increase to $51.75 for G1 and M1 road tests; $87.75 for G2 and M2 road tests; and $87.75 for commercial vehicle class road tests.  Fees paid on or after September 1, 2015 will be charged at the new rate. Fees for written or road tests paid prior to September 1st will be honoured within a 6 year timeframe and the drivers won’t be required to pay an additional fee. MTO says the fee increase is due to annual consumer price indexing.
Driver and Vehicle Licence Fee Increases

In addition to the written and road test fee increases reported (above) the Ontario Government has announced additional driver and vehicle fee increases as follows.

Fee changes effective September 1, 2015



Fee Changes effective November 1, 2015

 
Alternative Uses for School Buses...

                                  
School Bus Drivers, Once in Short Supply, Now Abundant

Article By: CBC News Calgary
Date: August 28, 2015


There's one company that's breathing a bit easier thanks to the economic downturn.

After years of struggling with a shortage of school bus drivers, Southland Transportation has been inundated with applications for the upcoming school year.

"We did a few things internally. We brought in a new recruitment manager who had 10 years experience in direct recruiting for an agency and is extremely good at what she does," said Murray Glass, the company's general manager for southern Alberta. 

"We also opened a recruiting centre of excellence and implemented a new application process and candidate tracking software, so that's helped us a lot. And, of course, I think the economy has been a help as well."

Glass says they have received over 1,200 applications for 575 to 600 positions, and yes, some of those applicants are engineers and geologists.

"We take everybody as they come, we definitely try to look at people that are looking at longer term, you know, just for retention and what have you, but there are definitely people from the oil patch looking right now," said Murray.

It's an important consideration for a job with a high turnover rate, thanks in part to the fact Southland lays off 98 per cent of its drivers at the end of each school year.

There's also a stigma that Glass acknowledges, and the fact the job can be trying, but he says many find it a rewarding career.

"A lot of people, once they get into it, they get hooked and they love what they do."
OSBA Needs Your OTE Ideas!

The 2016 Ontario Transportation Expo (OTE) conference and trade show is once again scheduled for April 2016 in Toronto - date and hotel to be finalized soon.  The trade show will be in the same location – Hall #5, International Centre. 
 
Please send us your topics, ideas and suggestions for the 2016 educational business sessions.  This year’s program (April 2015) can be seen at the following links:
  http://www.ote.ca/pdf/program-at-a-glance.pdf  and http://www.ote.ca/pdf/OTE-Conference-Info-Registration-Pkg.pdf   If you don’t see your topic on this year’s roster, why not submit it for next year’s program?
 
A planning meeting will take place in September so we’re hoping to have your input and ideas prior to this meeting.

Looking forward to your feedback!  If you have any other questions or comments, please email info@ote.ca or mobright@osba.on.ca, or call 416.695.9965 Ext. 3.

ASV's Collins Bus Delivers First Production Units of Its NEXBUS CNG Type A School Bus

Article By: School Transportation News
Date: August 28, 2015


Allied Specialty Vehicles (ASV), a leading manufacturer of motor vehicles for commercial, fire & emergency and recreation markets, on August 27, 2015 announced that its Collins Bus Corporation subsidiary has delivered the first four production units of its new NEXBUS® compressed natural gas (CNG) Type A school bus to the Lower Merion School District in Montgomery County, Pa. With more than half of its 117 vehicle fleet fueled by CNG, the Lower Merion School District boasts one of the largest fleets of alternative fuel school buses on the East coast.

“We are excited to see the delivery of the first Ford Factory OEM approved CNG Type A school bus,” said John Walsh, vice president of sales for ASV Bus. “The Collins NEXBUS CNG model demonstrates ASV’s commitment to meeting customer demands for environmentally friendly vehicles powered by clean alternative fuel systems that reduce carbon emissions.”

The four Collins NEXBUS CNG models, purchased through Wolfington Body Company in Exton, Pa., are built on a Ford E-450 cutaway truck chassis equipped with a gaseous engine prep package and feature the CNG Westport WiNGTM Power System, a dedicated natural gas fuel system for light-duty vehicles certified under the Ford Quality Vehicle Modifier (QVM) program. This certification maintains the Ford Factory 3-year/36,000 mile chassis engine and powertrain warranty.

“Westport’s partnership with Collins is a natural one. Each company brings a commitment to offering the best solution for fleet customers and delivering a quality product of superior performance,” said Paul Shaffer, Westport vice president and managing director responsible for the WestportTM WiNG business.

NEXBUS is a series of Collins models that feature advanced technologies, such as CNG and other clean alternative fuel systems. Collins has an exclusive agreement to provide the CNG Westport WiNGTM Power System for Type A school buses built on a Ford chassis.

New Laws Designed to Make Ontario's Roads Safer Take Effect September 1, 2015

Several amendments to the Highway Traffic Act (HTA)  announced back on June 2, 2015 will take effect September 1, 2015.   These include:

  • Increased fines for distracted driving
  • A requirement to maintain a one-metre distance when passing cyclists
  • The inclusion of tow trucks in the “Slow Down, Move Over law”
  • Drivers will have to wait until pedestrians completely cross the road at school crossings and at crosswalks with overhead pedestrian-operated crossing lights

Fines for distracted drivers will increase from the current range of $60 to $500 to between $300 and $1,000, plus three demerit points. The fine for drivers who don’t slow down or move over is between $400 to $2000 plus three demerit points. Fines for opening a door into the path of a cyclist will increase to the same amounts as for distracted driving. Also, fines will increase from the current $20 to between $60 and $500 for cyclists who do not use a light and reflectors or reflective material.

2015 P.R.I.D.E. Program Update

There is only ONE space left in the October 18–23, 2015 program.   Don’t be disappointed – complete and email your registration form today!

The link to the 2015 P.R.I.D.E. Program brochure including the registration form is:
 http://www.osba.on.ca/files/PRIDE-Program-Brochure-2015-revised.pdf

2016 P.R.I.D.E. Program Dates – Mark Your Calendar!

  • January 10-15
  • March 13-18 (March Break)
  • May 1-6
  • July 10-15
  • August 7-12
  • October 16-21 

For more information - please visit www.osba.on.ca/programs or contact info@osba.on.ca

Upcoming Events

 
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
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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.