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Transportation Department News

Transportation Department Update

The men and women who safely transport 21,000 children to and from school each day are the core of the St Johns County School District Transportation Department. In one of the fastest growing counties in Florida, the Transportation Department has an insatiable appetite for qualified school bus operators to serve the children of St Johns County. To that end, the Transportation Department recently announced a $1,000 sign on bonus to candidates for school bus operator. Additionally, the Department’s recruiters recently attended the Jacksonville Veterans Job Fair at the TIAA (Jacksonville Jaguars) Stadium to identify candidates for school bus operator.

The Transportation Department began a new program called Virtual Safe Ride in November 2018 as part of a comprehensive risk management program for school bus operation. Virtual Safe Ride affords school bus operators the opportunity to review and reconcile their daily service using advanced technologies to include the routing software, geospatial positioning system (GPS), satellite imagery, and the like. The 2-3 hour virtual ride results in comprehensive reviews, discussions, and decisions regarding the safest and most effective transportation services for children.

Transportation Safety & Technology

Robert Aponte (R), Safety and Training Coordinator conducting a Virtual Safe Ride with Bus Operator Cathy Limberg (L).

The Transportation Department has implemented a new safety training feature called Virtual Safe Ride this school year. Virtual Safe Rides involve an Operator and Trainer reviewing routes, stops, and details of bus runs in order to optimize student safety.

 

The Transportation Department has been successfully implementing a new routing software known as Bus Planner. The system significantly enhances safety parameters to ensure district school buses are routed in a manner which prioritizes student safety above all else.

 

Also new this school year, the department added a supplemental student light system to 10 buses as a state approved pilot of the technology. The pilot adds high intensity red LED lights just above the front and rear bumpers of the bus at a level approximate to a motorist’s eyes. Initial results indicate that motorists detect the buses sooner and accordingly decelerate vehicles quicker when approaching a bus loading or unloading students.

 

Furthering technology advancements and in synchronization with Bus Planner, the department is in the final stages of implementing a school bus GPS system on all district school buses following an 18-month pilot of technologies. Most importantly, the school bus GPS system will pinpoint school bus locations with three feet (latitude/longitude) and ten seconds. Given this capability, the department will significantly improve response times to buses with emergencies on route while precisely projecting school bus arrival times at stops and schools.

Celebrate Your Driver!

The Transportation Department would love to hear from you!

The St. Johns County School District employs professional Bus Operators to transport our 22,000 students every day, twice a day. Drivers achieve the status of Operators after passing multiple levels of an extensive training program and completing mandatory annual credential requirements.

Please fill out our form to celebrate your Bus Operator so that we may recognize her/him.

2018-2019 New School Year Update

As we begin the 2018-2019 school year, St. Augustine has seen tremendous growth with the opening of two new K-8 schools, and the expansion/transition of an elementary school to a middle school. This growth has presented a new set of challenges that we are working diligently at overcoming.

How you can help: 

  • Make sure your child is at their assigned bus stop on time.
  • Be supportive and respectful of our drivers and insist on your child’s good behavior on the bus. Student safety is our #1 concern.
  • If you have a question or concern, please contact our office.
  • Encourage a friend or relative to join our team. We need more drivers!

Thank you so much for your patience and understanding!