Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Bus drivers sought
Steamboat Springs School District Transportation Director Ed Dingledine said the district is always looking for more bus drivers.
Interested drivers can apply online at www.sssd.k12.co.us or by visiting the district office at 325 Seventh St. or the transportation offices at 923 Critter Court.
District bus drivers must hold a Commercial Drivers License with a Class B endorsement and a student endorsement.
The district trains all bus drivers, and Dingledine can test applicants.
Bus drivers are paid during training.
The hours vary, but they typically are 7 to 9 a.m. and 2:45 to 4:30 p.m.
Dingledine said he encourages stay-at-home mothers or early retirees to look into being bus drivers and substitute bus drivers. Young children are allowed to ride in the buses, and the buses are equipped for car seats, Dingledine said.
Steamboat Springs The safety of Steamboat Springs students is the top priority for the Steamboat Springs School District's transportation department.
Student safety was just one of the topics district transportation director Ed Dingledine highlighted in his transportation report to the Steamboat Springs School Board last week.
A bus safety program has started or will be starting at both Soda Creek and Strawberry Park elementary schools.
Students will be shown videos that include topics such as appropriate behavior and safety while waiting for the bus, how to board the bus and how to ride the bus. Other issues include traffic awareness and how to handle bullying.
For most students, the bus safety program is a review, but Dingledine said the topics are worth rehashing with young students.
"Safety is our No. 1 priority every day," he said.
In addition to reviewing bus safety with students, the district made sure its fleet of buses and SUVs was safe through a Colorado Department of Education review.
Bruce Little, Department of Education transportation consultant, reviewed the Steamboat Springs School District's transportation department Oct. 3 and 4.
The purpose of the review was to ensure that district records were being kept properly and that buses were meeting state regulations.
Compliance and training records were examined. Dingledine said the review went well, and the district was doing a great job, but several simple suggestions were made.
"He suggested we change the filing system," Dingledine said.
On Oct. 4, the district's maintenance records and several buses also were examined.
"The CDE system is general safety stuff, and he really nitpicks pretty good," Dingledine said.
One area where Steamboat has improved is emissions from its fleet of diesel buses.
Dingledine looked into using bio-diesel fuel, but the district's gas supplier, Weston Oil, determined that the high moisture content in the fuel was unacceptable for this climate.
But a U.S. Department of Transportation mandate this fall required all diesel vehicles to change to ultra-low sulphur diesel fuel to help reduce emissions.
Traditional diesel fuel produces 500 parts per million sulphur emissions compared with 15 ppm with ultra-low sulphur diesel fuel.
Dingledine equated the recent change in diesel fuel to the government mandate that prompted the production of unleaded gasoline years ago. "Either way, we are reducing emissions, which is what we were looking for," Dingledine said.
The district has 18 large buses, two special needs buses, one small bus and five SUVs.
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