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  Federal 'BELT' Act Would Fund School Bus Lap-Shoulder Belts

Federal 'BELT' Act Would Fund School Bus Lap-Shoulder Belts

From "School Transportation News":

Rep. Steve Cohen representing the 9th District of Tennessee introduced legislation that would require federal funding to equip all newly purchased large school buses in the U.S. with lap-shoulder belts, and it would penalize states for not passing school bus illegal passing and driver background laws.

The Bring Enhanced Liability in Transportation for Students Act, or BELT, aims to create federal grants to enable states and local school districts to purchase new school buses weighing more than 10,000 pounds with lap-shoulder restraint systems as well as motion-activated detection systems.

The bill does not list a dollar amount for the grants, but it does state that the U.S. Department of Transportation would be required to ensure the grants are "of sufficient size and scope."

States would also be required to submit a report to the feds on the effectiveness of its school bus three-point seat belt program, including student usage and the impact on school bus seating capacity.

At this writing, HB6461 had been referred to the House Education and Workforce Committee by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the latter of which Cohen is a member.

Cohen said in a statement on Tuesday that his bill became necessary after last month’s school bus crash in Chattanooga, Tennessee that killed six students and injured dozens more.

“When it comes to protecting our school children, safety must come first,” he said, citing the six states that require seat belts on school buses. “When I was in the Tennessee State Senate, I sponsored a bill to require seat belts on school buses, yet it was opposed by the industry and never received a vote in committee.”      READ MORE >

  2017 intercity bus travel outlook in NYC to be released

2017 intercity bus travel outlook in NYC to be released

From  Metro:

Bus industry experts will gather at New York University on Jan. 13, 2017 to mark the release of the “2017 Outlook for Intercity Bus Travel in the United States,” a new study by the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University.

The DePaul report evaluates the remarkable implications of the resurgence of intercity bus travel on the competitive landscape of U.S. travel.

The report expects bus ridership to resume its growth trajectory in 2017 after several difficult years in which ridership sagged due to the sharp fall in fuel prices. This finding is reinforced by a recent report by a major investment firm, which also expects profits at Greyhound, a unit of FirstGroup, to grow sharply over the next several years.

The DePaul analysis shows that Amtrak and discount airlines now face competition from BestBus and Megabus and other express city-to-city bus lines on more than 60% of their major routes involving travel distances of less than 400 miles. The largest markets that remain unserved are predominately in the Southwest and Mountain states.

There is particular anticipation next year for the expansion of business-class and luxury bus services. The current year has brought success to upscale................ READ MORE >

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