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  • October 18, 2021 9:00 AM | Jennifer Bruce, CMP (Administrator)

    Montpelier, Vermont – The 2021 National School Bus Safety Week (NSBSW), which is held every year during the third week in October, is October 18 – 22, 2021.  Celebrations during this week encourage communities to join together to focus on school bus transportation generally, and school bus safety specifically.

    “National School Bus Safety Week is a great time for school districts to focus their efforts on safe school transportation by reminding everyone of the safety message highlighted in each year’s specific campaign.  This year the theme is, ‘Be Safe, Know the Danger Zone’, which is an especially important safety message as children board and exit the school bus each and every day,” offered NASDPTS President Pat McManamon.

    “Being aware of the danger zone is a very important safety message.  The danger zone is the area immediately around the school bus and it’s important for students to remember three things when they are around the school bus.  First, it is very important for students to arrive to their school bus stop early, so they are not rushed.  Second, they need to stay three, giant steps back from the curb until the bus stops and opens the doors.  And third, they need to pay attention to the driver when they are boarding and exiting the bus.  The safety of all children depends on students actively using these guidelines each and every day,” noted NASDPTS Executive Director Ronna Weber.

    Important School Bus Safety Week resources can be found at www.americanschoolbuscouncil.org and www.schoolbusfacts.com.

    For more information on the National School Bus Safety Week Poster Contest, please go to:  https://www.napt.org/postercontest.

  • October 13, 2021 10:45 AM | Jennifer Bruce, CMP (Administrator)

    The U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Service (OSERS) has issued the following documents:

    We will continue to monitor this office for further Q&A guidance documents and alert you as they become available.

    If you have any questions, contact Ronna Weber at ExecDir@NASDPTS.org.

  • October 12, 2021 10:00 AM | Jennifer Bruce, CMP (Administrator)

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently released a Final Rule on Drug and Alcohol Testing and the State Driver’s License Agency (SDLA) Non-issuance or Downgrade of Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or Commercial Learners Permit (CLP).  The rule is effective as of November 8, 2021, and compliance is required as of November 18, 2024.

    The purpose of this final rule is to improve highway safety by ensuring that CLP or CDL holders with drug and alcohol program violations do not operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) until they complete the return to duty (RTD) process and can lawfully resume driving. Currently, most SDLAs do not receive drug and alcohol program violation information about CDL, or CLP holders licensed in their State. Therefore, these SDLAs are unaware when a CMV operator is subject to the driving prohibition set forth in 49 CFR 382.501(a), and the CMV operator continues to hold a valid CDL or CLP despite the driving prohibition. The rule closes that knowledge gap by ensuring that all SDLAs are able to determine whether CMV drivers licensed in their State are subject to FMCSA’s CMV driving prohibition. The rule facilitates enforcement of the driving prohibition by requiring that SDLAs deny certain commercial licensing transactions and remove the commercial driving privileges of individuals who are prohibited from operating a CMV and performing other safety-sensitive functions, due to drug and alcohol program violations. By requiring SDLAs to downgrade the driver’s licensing status by removing the commercial driving privilege, the final rule will also permit all traffic safety enforcement officers to readily identify prohibited drivers by conducting a license check during a traffic stop or other roadside intervention.

    Under the Final Rule there are two ways the SDLA will receive notification of the driver’s prohibited status: (1) The SDLA ‘‘pulls’’ the information from the Clearinghouse by conducting a required query prior to a specified commercial licensing transaction; and (2) FMCSA ‘‘pushes’’ the information to the SDLA whenever a drug or alcohol program violation is reported to the Clearinghouse for a CLP or CDL holder licensed in that State. FMCSA will also ‘‘push’’ a notification to the SDLA when the driver complies with RTD requirements and is no longer prohibited by FMCSA’s regulations from operating a CMV. In addition, if FMCSA determines that a driver was erroneously identified as prohibited, the Agency will notify the SDLA that the individual is not prohibited from operating a CMV; the SDLA must promptly reinstate the commercial driving privilege to the driver’s license and expunge the driving record accordingly.

    The final rule does not establish specific downgrade or reinstatement procedures. All States currently have established procedures to downgrade the CDL or CLP of a driver whose medical certification has expired or otherwise been invalidated. The Agency anticipates that States will adapt their existing processes to remove the CLP or CDL credential from the license of any driver subject to the CMV driving prohibition, and to reinstate the commercial privilege following receipt of notification from FMCSA that the individual is no longer prohibited from driving a CMV (or was incorrectly identified as prohibited).

    The full Final Rule may be accessed here:  https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection/2021-21928/controlled-substances-and-alcohol-testing-state-drivers-licensing-agency-non-issuancedowngrade-of.

    If you have any questions, contact Ronna Weber at ExecDir@NASDPTS.org.

  • October 12, 2021 9:30 AM | Jennifer Bruce, CMP (Administrator)

    Montpelier, Vermont – The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) announces the cancellation of the 2021 National School Bus Illegal Passing Survey. NASDPTS made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s survey due to the continued impact of the COVID pandemic on school services as well as the current shortage of school bus drivers and the need to focus all operations on safely transporting students each and every day.

    “The National School Bus Illegal Passing Survey is a very important tool in school transportation to not only highlight the safe transportation of students but to also assist in the continued education of motorists about the need to stop for the yellow school bus. As regular operations return, hopefully in 2022, we look to resume the survey at that time,” stated NASDPTS President Pat McManamon.

    “Consistent data from one year to the next is very important, but 2020 and 2021 have been anything but normal for school transportation. It is our hope that by delaying our survey to 2022 districts can focus solely on safety at this time,” added NASDPTS Executive Director Ronna Weber.

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  • October 05, 2021 12:00 PM | Jennifer Bruce, CMP (Administrator)

    Please be aware that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) opened up two School Bus Rebate programs yesterday. These programs provide funding to replace older diesel buses with cleaner school buses.

    Note: The new ARP rebates exclusively fund electric school bus replacements at a rebate amount of $300,000 per bus, but the rebates are narrowly targeted to school districts estimated to have high student poverty levels. School districts and private fleets serving public schools must check the eligibility list at the link above to determine if they qualify to apply to this new program. The ARP rebate webpage also includes a table comparing the two rebate programs.

    You will find separate applications, program guides, and FAQs at the two sites above. The programs will follow the same timeline, with applications due by Friday, November 5, 2021, at 4pm EST.

    If you have any questions, contact Ronna Weber at ExecDir@NASDPTS.org or call (703) 203-6485.

  • October 01, 2021 12:43 PM | Jennifer Bruce, CMP (Administrator)

    The Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Surface Transportation Security Advisory Committee’s (STSAC) Annual Report is now available and can be found here: Surface Transportation Security Advisory Committee | Transportation Security Administration (tsa.gov) under “Annual Reports.”

  • September 30, 2021 10:50 AM | Jennifer Bruce, CMP (Administrator)

    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) opened up two School Bus Rebate programs yesterday. These programs provide funding to replace older diesel buses with cleaner school buses.

    Note: The new ARP rebates exclusively fund electric school bus replacements at a rebate amount of $300,000 per bus, but the rebates are narrowly targeted to school districts estimated to have high student poverty levels. School districts and private fleets serving public schools must check the eligibility list at the link above to determine if they qualify to apply to this new program. The ARP rebate webpage also includes a table comparing the two rebate programs.

    You will find separate applications, program guides, and FAQs at the two sites above. The programs will follow the same timeline, with applications due by Friday, November 5, 2021, at 4pm EST

  • September 15, 2021 1:13 PM | Jennifer Bruce, CMP (Administrator)

    The U.S. Environmental and Protection Agency has released an updated website specific to the 2021 American Rescue Plan Electric School Bus Rebate Program (2021 American Rescue Plan (ARP) Electric School Bus Rebates | US EPA). EPA will fund $7 million in electric school bus rebates in underserved communities under this program and it will run concurrent to the annual DERA program rebates. Funding is available for school districts as well as contractors. Of note, the website contains a chart comparing the Electric School Bus Rebate Program with the DERA program. The website is meant to give you advance notice to the opportunity and details as well as relevant documents, information, dates, and deadlines will be updated as they become available.

  • August 31, 2021 11:00 AM | Jennifer Bruce, CMP (Administrator)


    August 31, 2021

    Contacts: 

    NAPT - Mike Martin (518) 284-3635
    NASDPTS - Ronna Weber (703) 203-6485
    NSTA - Curt Macysyn (703) 684-3200

    NAPT, NASDPTS and NSTA Release Findings of
    School Bus Driver Shortage Survey

    The National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT), the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS), and the National School Transportation Association (NSTA) recently conducted a joint survey of America’s shortage of school bus drivers. The results confirm what many have been saying.

    “As school districts across the country return to in-person learning and COVID continues to have an impact on education in general and school transportation scheduling and logistics in particular, the shortage of school bus drivers has become conspicuous”, said NAPT Executive Director Mike Martin. “But let’s be clear – this is not a new problem. Nor it is easy to solve.”

    Here are the most significant findings of the survey, which garnered nearly 1,500 responses and has a level of precision for statistics that is +/- 2.5% at 95% confidence:

    • Every region of the country is currently altering transportation service due to COVID. Seventy-nine percent (79%) of respondents in the Northeast said they have altered service, 77% in the Midwest, 66% percent in the South, and 80% in the West.
    • Ninety-one percent (91%) of respondents said they have altered service to elementary schools, 90% have altered service to middle schools, and 83% have altered service to high schools.
    • Fifty-one percent (51%) of respondents described their driver shortage as “severe” or “desperate”. Roughly three-quarters of all respondents (78%) also indicated that the school bus driver shortage is getting “much worse” or “a little worse”.
    • Roughly two-thirds of all respondents (65%) indicated that bus driver shortage is their number one problem or concern. Only 1% of respondents indicated that bus driver shortage is not a problem for them.
    • The average number of days in the hiring process is 16, with the Northeast averaging 17 days, the Midwest and the South averaging 16 days, and the West averaging 22 days.
    • In a question that allowed for multiple answers, 50% of respondents said the rate of pay is a major factor affecting their ability to recruit and retain drivers, 45% cited the “length of time to secure a CDL”, 38% the “availability of benefits” and 38% the “hours available to work”.
    “While the industry seems to struggle with driver shortages each year, this year’s shortage has a different feel to it and having the data to really understand it is invaluable. We hear anecdotal reports all the time but being able to point to real information will ensure we are responding to this situation in the best manner possible for our members,” noted National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) Executive Director Ronna Weber.

    NAPT, NASDPTS and NSTA conducted the survey to determine the extent of bus driver shortages, whether the trend is getting better, or worse, and which solutions are being used to remedy the problem. Analyses were conducted to determine where the survey responses were significantly different among segments by geographic region, respondents’ job title, or size of the company/school district; how organizations recruit bus drivers, to understand more about the interviewing and hiring process; and what steps are being taken by companies and school districts to retain drivers.

    “This survey reaffirms individual feedback that we have heard from our members that both in-district and contract school bus operators are facing serious challenges with respect to staffing of the driver pool this fall. While we are vitally concerned about the short-term implications of the shortage, our organization looks forward to engaging on potential solutions to address this vexing issue,” offered National School Transportation Association (NSTA) Executive Director Curt Macysyn.

    About Each Association

    The National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) is a diverse community of people that share a passion for safe and efficient student transportation. Our non-profit organization offers school districts and their transportation and transportation-related service providers a variety of communication, leadership, education, advocacy and research services.

    The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) was founded in 1968. Our purpose is to provide leadership, assistance, and motivation to the nation’s school transportation community and industry. The association works to ensure safe, secure, environmentally responsible, and cost-effective transportation to school children and to school and school related activities. NASDPTS represents a cross section of individuals and organizations involved in student transportation. As the association’s name indicates, members include those individuals with the primary responsibility for school transportation in each state. In addition, school bus manufacturers and other industry suppliers, school transportation contractors, and a number of state associations, whose members include school transportation officials, drivers, trainers, and technicians, also are members of affiliated councils within the association. This diversity in membership, combined with the day-to-day involvement of the state directors in policy matters, creates a unique perspective on pupil transportation issues.

    The National School Transportation Association (NSTA) is the leading resource for private school bus transportation solutions. NSTA and its members are dedicated to leading the school bus transportation industry through a commitment to safety and security; cost-effective operations; high quality operating standards; professional integrity; environmental responsibility; education and promotion; community involvement and industry advocacy. NSTA has been the Washington, DC voice for private contractors for over 50 years. Our goal and commitment is to provide our members with the support they need to be successful in today's challenging times.

    # # #

    If you would like more information, the three associations will jointly offer a webinar after Labor Day to discuss the survey and its results in greater detail, as well as the return to school more generally. You can register here for the webinar being held September 9 at 1:00pm (EST).


Contact Us:

NASDPTS
PO Box 409 (180 Canada St.)
Lake George, NY  12845

Ronna Weber
Executive Director

ExecDir@nasdpts.org
(703) 203-6485

Jennifer Bruce
Administrative & 
Member Services Director
AdminServices@nasdpts.org
(518) 331-3019

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