NAPT MultiView News Brief
March 22, 2011

Save the date for 'America's Best'
Plans are now under way for the 8th Annual "America's Best" Competition. This year's search for "America's Best" School Bus Technician and School Bus Inspector is hosted by the Texas Association of School Bus Technicians, and will take place in San Antonio, on Sept. 27–30. Twenty states were represented at the 2010 competition, and event organizers are hoping to see this number reach at least 30 states in 2011.

This contest is unique in that the competition will be integrated with a variety of workshops for both technician's and inspectors related to components and systems on school buses.

The competition and training workshop is limited to one inspector and one technician per state. All technical participants must be currently employed in a position requiring the regular/frequent maintenance and/or repair of school buses. All inspector participants must be currently employed in a position requiring the regular/frequent inspection of school buses.

NAPT's Annual America's Best Competition is co-sponsored by Hydrotex, Bus Parts Warehouse, Zonar Systems and The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Delco Remy is offering scholarships to technicians that wish to participate. Bus Parts Warehouse and Zonar offer scholarships that enable each winner to attend the NAPT Annual Summit. This year's Summit takes place on Oct. 22-27, in Cincinnati. For more Summit information, log on to

for additional information, and to register for "America's Best", please visit the website: Please contact Marshall Casey with questions at

NAPT awards program
The National Association for Pupil Transportation, together with support from our sponsors, is proud to offer an annual awards program to individuals and operators responsible for the safe transport of school children. Please consider nominating one of your dedicated staff, as we are accepting applications for the following awards:

IC Driver Trainer Award — Established to recognize school districts with exemplary driver training programs.

Sure-Lok Special Needs Transportation Award — Created to recognize superior special needs transportation service.

Blue Bird Heroism Award — Established to recognize heroism or acts of courage relating to school transportation.

Thomas Built Buses Continuing Education Award — Founded to encourage professional growth in the student transportation industry.

NAPT Larson Award — This comprehensive assessment tool highlights current quality standards and helps districts find areas that need improvement.

Please log on to our website for applications and additional information: More

Cincinnati ushers in the dawn of professional baseball
In 1867 a group of Ohio investors put up the money to fund the "Cincinnati Red Stockings" — the first professional U. S. baseball team — as a means to promote the City of Cincinnati. Their debut season was a phenomenal accomplishment (57-0) and forced other cities to shift from amateur to professional baseball in order to compete. In 1889, the team shortened its name to the Cincinnati Reds.

The total payroll that first year was $9,300. Individual yearly salaries for a roster of nine, ranged from $800 to $1,400. Just for reference, the 2010 median salary for the Reds was $484,000 and the total payroll was $71.7 million. Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Ken Griffey Sr. (and Jr.), and Frank Robinson are just a few of the modern era Reds with which you may be familiar.

Over the course of their 144-year history, the Reds have called seven different ball fields their home. Their newest venue, the Great American Ballpark, was constructed in 2003 at a price of $290 million. The new stadium holds 42,000 fans and includes the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame.

The Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame is located on the west side of the Great American Ballpark. The 16,000 square foot facility provides a variety of exhibits and activities to bring "the story of Reds baseball to life each day." The Hall of Fame is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding Mondays, major holidays and Sundays when the Bengals (NFL) play at home. The cost is $10 for adults. For more information, call 513-765-7923 or visit the website:

School Bus Champions webinar set for March 24

The American School Bus Council will present a complimentary, 60-minute webinar at 2 p.m. ET March 24 to highlight the attributes of the yellow school bus.

Ken Hedgecock, vice preisdent of sales, marketing and service for Thomas Built Buses, and Mark Hollenbeck, associate publisher for School Bus Fleet magazine, will discuss the environmental, educational and safety benefits of the school bus. The specific intent of the webinar is to encourage grass roots participation in a "million man march" of school bus enthusiasts. This session will help you promote the yellow bus in your region.

The free event is hosted by School Bus Fleet Magazine. You may register at

School buses give ads a ride
USA Today
The look of school buses hasn't changed much over the years, but as states scramble for revenue sources a growing number are adding something new: advertising for such clients as banks, real estate and insurance agents. Advertising in public school districts has existed for years at school gyms and athletic fields, says New Jersey School Boards Association spokesman Michael Yaple. School buses offer the visibility of daily trips throughout a community — along with the associated sensitivity of the commercial influence on young children.More

Our nation's diverse transportation infrastructure
The Hill
Congress has a very serious responsibility as it considers several transportation bills ranging from surface transportation, aviation, and water infrastructure that should be of highest priority for all members of Congress because of its vital importance to job creation and our national economy.More

Lax rules for discount buses cited after I-95 crash
The New York Times
Discount tour buses transport millions of passengers a year, but the federal government has little control over who gets behind the wheel. Seat belts are not required for passenger seats, and regulators in Washington often depend on handwritten logbooks to determine whether drivers are working with too little sleep.More

The effect of high gas prices
National Journal Transportation Blog
Gas prices are going up — and fast. In the last several weeks, they have averaged $3.50 per gallon and are approaching $4 per gallon in some parts of the country. If rising fuel costs cause people to drive their cars less frequently, the highway trust fund could find itself with less money to maintain roads and bridges than anticipated.More

TSA defends safety of scanners
USA Today
A national expert on radiation safety questioned why the Transportation Security Administration is opting to use a type of airport X-ray scanner that exposes travelers to low doses of radiation when the agency already has another type of scanner that poses no known safety risks. David Brenner, director of Columbia University's Center for Radiological Research, noted that the TSA uses the full-body X-ray scanners at some airports but allows passengers at other airports to pass through millimeter wave scanners, which do not use ionizing radiation.More

Domestic green fuel now powers 47 KCK school buses
The Kansas City Star
The days of diesel-belching school buses could be waning. Recently, the Kansas City, Kan., School District added 47 buses that run on compressed natural gas. It is the first school district in Kansas or Missouri to launch a large-scale fleet with the alternative fuel. "These buses are greener, cleaner and use domestically sourced compressed natural gas rather than imported diesel fuel," said Kelli Mather, the district's chief financial officer.More

EPA toxics report sparks fight over diesel emission
The New York Times
An Environmental Protection Agency report suggesting that Americans have significantly higher cancer risks because of toxic emissions from motor vehicles has reopened the debate over dangers posed by outdated diesel engines. Recently released, the report draws on 2005 data to examine potential health risks from airborne toxics and concludes that vehicle emissions — including diesel exhaust — pose significant health risks.More

Lautenberg plans hearings on bus safety after fatal crashes
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Many changes in bus-safety rules proposed in 2009 by the federal Department of Transportation have not been implemented, and with another recent deadly crash, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., plans to hold hearings to find out why. The new rules would mandate passenger seat belts, prohibit operators from using cell phones while driving, require onboard recording devices to monitor drivers, increase the crush resistance of bus roofs, and crack down on "chameleon" companies that change names to avoid sanctions for unsafe operations.More

Bullies bruise brains, not just egos
Fox News
VideoBrief Bullying and other types of chronic social stress affect gene activity in the brain, suggests a new study in mice. The changes may lead to persistent social anxiety. "Just as alcohol affects your liver, stress affects your brain," said lead researcher Yoav Litvin of Rockefeller University in New York. The anxiety that can result from being teased and otherwise treated poorly is organically based, Litvin said, meaning it arises from physical changes in the brain.More

Drowsy driving a risk to everyone on the road
Department of Transportation Fastlane
According to data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2009 drowsy driving crashes injured more than 30,000 people. Because police can't always determine with certainty when driver fatigue causes a crash, the actual number may be higher.More