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Gov. DeSantis allocates $2.3 million for CDL programs at FL colleges 

UniteGPS – Six colleges across Florida will offer commercial driver’s license (CDL) programs following the allocation of  $2.3 million from the state government. Gov. Ron DeSantis revealed the funding on Jan. 20, 2022, while attending an event at South Florida State College.  The goal is two-fold: help Florida residents earn higher-paying jobs as well as

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Electric school buses in California

Modesto City Schools in CA approves purchase of 30 electric buses 

UniteGPS – District officials from Modesto City Schools in California recently approved the purchase of 30 electric buses in a bid to reduce both their carbon footprint and annual fuel costs by nearly $250,000. “These initiatives will not only provide sustainability but also stability,” said Associate Superintendent Tim Zearley during the recent board meeting, excited

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Micro-transit pilot in Milwaukee connects unemployed with suburban jobs

UniteGPS – One of the latest efforts with the potential to halt the national labor shortage comes from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) with its “micro-transit” pilot beginning on Feb. 1, 2022.  Called “FlexRide Milwaukee,” the ride-sharing initiative has organized five different pick-up and drop-off locations around areas of the city with the highest unemployment

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NY governor proposes third-party CDL road tests

UniteGPS – First electric school buses, then scrapping the earnings cap for retirees, and now an initiative for third-party CDL road tests; so far, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s recent proposals to rectify the shortage of bus drivers in New York State continue to make headlines. On Jan. 12, 2022, Gov. Hochul proposed in a press release

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History lesson and opinion: the yellow school bus

UniteGPS – Since making their debut in the 1930s, the yellow school bus has become an emblematic part of the American education system; but have you ever stopped to wonder why? What we know today as the iconic yellow school bus began under the guidance of Frank Cyr. Eventually earning the title as “The Father

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1,738 electric school buses operate in U.S. as of September 2021

UniteGPS – New data released by CALSTART, a national nonprofit consortium advising partners on adopting green transportation solutions, reported 1,738 electric school buses (ESBs) were operating in the United States as of September 2021, whether funded, ordered, delivered, or currently deployed.  More than just outlining the nation’s inventory of ESBs, the report explained growth opportunities

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Montgomery County Public Schools calls National Guard to cover bus drivers

UniteGPS – Desperate times called for desperate measures in Md. as Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) appealed to the state National Guard to cover drivers dealing with omicron. According to Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Dr. Earl Stoddard, MCPS made the request last week and proceeded to contact the Maryland Department of Emergency Management and Homeland

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WV to host GreenPower electric school bus plant

UniteGPS – The clean energy revolution is coming to West Virginia following the announcement of a new GreenPower electric school bus plant in South Charleston. On top of reserving $15 million worth of units from the Canadian company, state officials agreed to lease and purchase a property to build the facility. Both entities released a

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What we know about the Clean School Bus Program

UniteGPS – Contractors still aren’t sure how to obtain funds from the federal Clean School Bus Program as leaders across the United States embrace zero-emission fleet operations. Enacted from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal signed by President Joe Biden in November, little information is available on how the authorities will disperse $5 billion among recipients. What

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No earnings cap for retirees could ease driver shortage in NY

UniteGPS – Albany legislators recently scrapped the earnings cap for retirees in hopes of solving the ongoing bus driver shortage, according to the New York State Comptroller’s website. Prompted by Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) following her State of the State Address, any pay earned by retirees between Sept. 27 and Jan. 25, 2022, will not

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Wages leading cause of the driver shortage, says OH survey

UniteGPS – This past week, the Ohio Association for Pupil Transportation (OAPT) released results from a survey in which two-thirds of respondents attributed low pay as the leading cause of the driver shortage. OAPT conducted the survey between Sept. 13 and Oct. 11, 2021, seeking to better gauge how rising COVID-19 cases have escalated the

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NY aims for 100% electric school bus fleet by 2035

UniteGPS – On Jan. 5, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) gave her first State of the State Address and released a 237-page document outlining plans for a complete electric school bus fleet by 2035. In the entitled “State of State Book,” the official proposed legislation to require every new bus purchase by 2027 to be zero-emission

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DOT announces changes to new CDL test

UniteGPS – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) released a press release on Jan. 4 granting states temporary permission to suspend the “under the hood” engine section of the revised Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) skills test. In partnership with the Department of Education, the DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enacted this waiver in

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Federal CDL training makes standard curriculum

UniteGPS – The application process to receive a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is about to change forever based on new Entry-Level Driving Training (ELDT) requisites. Beginning Feb. 7, 2022, the federal CDL training will require trainees to complete revised Theory and Behind-the-Wheel (BTW) curriculums from authorized providers. New ELDT requirements Mandated by the Federal Motor

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Bus by Elijah Ekdahl

New CDL Entry-Level Driver Training affects bus drivers

UniteGPS – If you’re planning on driving a school bus in 2022, say goodbye to the days of preparing for the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) days before the practical. Come Feb. 7, new CDL Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) will require school bus drivers to enroll in a certified course to satisfy federal hiring requirements as

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New Version of Maintenance Report on Crosswalk K-12

With the 2021-2022 academic school year already in session across the country, the development team at UniteGPS is pleased to announce a new and improved version of the Maintenance Report on Crosswalk K-12. As you’re about to find out, school districts can look forward to streamlining their pre and post-trip inspection protocol with the following

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Photo Upload on Maintenance Inspection for Drivers

Photo upload capability will soon be part of Maintenance Inspection report for drivers on Crosswalk K-12. The UniteGPS development team is creating a new feature to permit drivers to upload images as part of the inspection process. All in all, implementing this will support drivers in documenting issues before becoming potential problems. So, rip in

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Driver Training: Reports on Crosswalk K-12

If you’re interested in learning more about driver training reports for Crosswalk K-12, then you’re in the right place. Besides the interactive Stop Check feature, drivers also have access to various reporting tools over our solution including Stop Check Report, Maintenance Inspection, and Request Field Trips. While bus operators will most often be resorting to

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Driver Training: Crosswalk K-12 Stop Check

Driver training 101: this page explains how drivers can track student bus attendance with the Stop Check feature on Crosswalk K-12. Regardless of one’s level of experience with tablets, the following guide provides straightforward explanations of how drivers can effectively use this technology. Continue reading to learn more about the driver user experience on our

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How to Create a Route on Crosswalk K-12

Hey administrators, below is a quick and easy guide on how to create a route on Crosswalk K-12! Whether you need to make a new route from scratch or edit bus stops, this write-up has all the answers. As a reminder, though, this is a simple two-part process readily available to school districts. First, we

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Geofence Search tool on Crosswalk K-12

This tutorial instructs school administrators on how to use the Geofence Search tool on Crosswalk K-12. Originally built for the School District of Osceola in Florida, this map feature allows users to discern whether or not buses passed through a designated zone at a specific time. First, let’s define “geofencing” for clarity. Either as a

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Solving Problems with Creativity: Go Bootstrapped

As a bootstrapped company with a passion for innovation, solving problems with creativity is what UniteGPS does best. Take our mapping software, for example. When we launched in 2014, what was the first logical thing for us to acquire? Maps. Naturally, we contacted the people at Google who expected $40,000 per year to access their

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Barcode or NFC for Crosswalk K-12

For student ID functionality, school districts using Crosswalk K-12 can strategically choose between barcode scanning or NFC. At one time or another, mostly everybody in the 21st century has needed to use an ID card, whether it be for school or work. Necessary for anything from entering a building, paying for lunch, renting a library

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Manage Users on Crosswalk K-12

The Development Team is here to share some recent updates that will enable school districts to better manage users on Crosswalk K-12 as well as Town Transit. Whether to add, delete or edit users in the district, both administrators and parents head to Admin on the Dashboard. Once there, click on Manage Users to see

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Crosswalk K-12 Parent Involvement

A key factor in using our Crosswalk K-12 transit solution to its full potential is parent involvement. After all, they play a pivotal role in the user experience. That’s to say, we made this platform for parents in mind! Just like administrators, parents can also view real-time bus locations, not to mention get updates on

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CSV Data Upload for Crosswalk K-12

Save yourself the headache of needing to re-upload CSV data files for students onto Crosswalk K-12 by doing it right the first time! By the end of reading this blog, you will surely know how. What is a CSV file? When we say CSV file, we mean a “comma-separated values.” What this entails is a

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How to Update Bus Route on Crosswalk K-12

Here is how to update a bus route on Crosswalk K-12! As you’re most likely well aware, there are numerous methods to create routes on this UniteGPS solution. In our opinion, one of the most efficient techniques is by referring to Manage Routes under Admin in the Dashboard. How to handle Manage Routes To begin

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Override Crosswalk K-12 Route Selection

The UniteGPS development team has recently created a new feature to streamline last-minute changes or substitutions between drivers known as Override Route Selection. Soon to be released, this fresh technology will make it all the more easier to assign drivers to new temporary routes. For Crosswalk K-12 users, this memo provides a sneak-peak of what

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How to Enable Geolocation on Crosswalk + Town Transit

Do you know how to enable geolocation on Town Transit and Crosswalk K-12? At one time or another out on the field, bus drivers logging into the solutions may encounter the following message on the tablet: Location services are disabled or you have blocked our application from using location services. Location services must be enabled

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Best COVID-19 prevention practices on public buses

Have you ever considered learning more about the best Covid practices on buses while riding on public transit? Whether you’re a passenger or driver using Town Transit from UniteGPS, it’s more than likely that you’ve crossed paths with somebody wearing a mask incorrectly (better said, ineffectively) while onboard a bus. Perhaps you’ve seen folks with

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Crosswalk K-12 Reporting Tools

Whether for fiscal reasons or quarterly reviews, school administrators regularly rely on accurate data to effectively manage their bus fleets, hence the need for Crosswalk K-12 reporting tools. The reasons are endless, ranging from gathering gas mileage reports to reviewing driving summaries. To simplify theses often tedious processes, the UniteGPS team has developed various tools

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UniteGPS blog photo

How to Use Fleet View on Crosswalk K-12

How to use Fleet View: one of the most useful tools on both Crosswalk K-12 and Town Transit is this very special feature. Think of it as a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) made specially for school districts and transit authorities to use in monitoring their bus fleets in real-time, whether that be a paratransit van

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School bus picture

Online Field Trip Admin Feature on Crosswalk K-12

More often than not, school field trips are fun opportunities for both students plus faculty to leave campus and burn off some steam. Like, really, who doesn’t love some hands-on learning? Whether visiting a museum, attending a lecture, or watching a performance, classroom excursions are an indelible part of education, even with schools’ COVID-19 contact

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Highway photo by Truman Adrian Lobato de Fario

How OpenAPI Benefits Paratransit

Between our team of developers and transit wonks, the UniteGPS team understands how OpenAPI benefits paratransit on Town Transit! We are an innovative bunch around here dedicated to scaling our solutions with the latest technology. Novel API programs are no exception! Meaning Application Programming Interface, this is an easily integrated feature that enables two applications

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Improve Ridership with Town Transit

Out of the 9.9 billion public transportation trips Americans took in 2019, how many of them were taken by disgruntled passengers? How many were forced to wait for delayed buses or trains to show up? While public transportation ridership across the United States has grown by 28 percent since 1995 according to the American Public

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