Buffalo Public Schools (BPS) has held a long term partnership with First Student, North America’s most chosen student transportation provider. The services we provide to BPS and the Buffalo community include home to school, field trip and after school transportation for approximately 26,600 students across 112 different public, private and charter school sites on a daily basis. When BPS made the important decision to upgrade their fleet, they wanted to provide their community with the safest and most state-of-the-art buses available. BPS administrators knew the types of safety equipment they wanted on the buses and the timeline in which they wanted them in place. Thanks to the strong partnership between BPS and First Student, the Buffalo community received updated buses with the latest technology.
When BPS approached First Student to update their buses safety features with the new contract, our team went to work. Three components needed to be up-fitted on each of the existing buses: integrated child safety seats, three-point lap shoulder belts and video cameras. This needed to be done in a phased approach to ensure there were always enough buses in operation to safely transport all BPS students.
Delivering the Solution
Our local teams were charged with the installation and daily maintenance of over 700 cameras intended to provide additional peace of mind for parents and administrators. Cameras were installed on each BPS bus for greater visibility and insight into any potential incidents on the school bus. Video cameras on school buses provide a way for school districts to objectively record incidents and in many cases, reduce their prevalence. An additional 15 live-feed cameras on specific routes provided near real-time video for administrators to view in the event of an emergency or issue that required immediate attention. Per New York State law, all buses must be outfitted with a lap belt for students. To provide an extra layer of safety, BPS requested the all their buses be equipped with three-point lap shoulder seat belts. Furthering our commitment to providing safe and efficient student transportation service, we installed integrated safety seats at the request of BPS. With a large population of pre-K and nursery school students, integrated child safety seats ensure that children are securely fastened during their ride. This safety factor also reduces time — drivers no longer have to install and remove the unwieldy child seats — and provides greater efficiency.
For both the BPS and First Student teams, success is measured by happy parents, safe students, satisfied employees and a transportation system team focused on safety, reliability and innovative technology that delivers peace of mind to all. And improving safety with enhanced technology is an ongoing quest for BPS. When our partnership contract came up for renewal again, Director of Transportation Al Diamico reached out to Area General Manager Sean McCabe to increase the number of cameras on the bus. Our team went to work researching, testing and reviewing various multi-view camera systems. Working jointly with BPS, a system was chosen and installed to provide added security. First Student’s continued partnership with the BPS underscores our commitment to support the needs of our school district partners by consistently performing beyond their expectations. We collectively bring a customized, personal touch to each and every bus ride, while keeping students safe. As we continue our partnership with the Buffalo Public Schools, we look forward to pioneering new innovations and the next technology that will keep kids safer while preserving the district’s classroom-facing focus. “We felt that First Student had the best product and service at the most advantageous price for the benefit of our students. At Buffalo Public Schools, we see ourselves as progressive and this is a way for the district to offer our students the utmost safety and comfort.” – Al Diamico