FHSD 2020 Bus Inspections

FHSD Wins Total Fleet Excellence Award


Mechanics inspect busesThe Missouri State Highway Patrol is responsible for conducting annual safety inspections of all school buses across the state. Representatives of the MSHP Motor Vehicle Inspection Section were in Francis Howell on June 17 and 18 to inspect the 191 buses in the FHSD transportation fleet. After a thorough inspection of all systems from bumper to bumper, 189 buses met all required standards for an initial passage rate of 99%. Two buses had minor issues that were repaired quickly, and every FHSD bus passed the final inspection.

Mechanics inspect busesThese results mean the District has earned the Patrol's Total Fleet Excellence Award, obtaining an approval rating of 90% or higher with no buses placed out-of-service. FHSD buses are now eligible to display the Total Fleet Excellence sticker in the lower corner of the first window on the passenger-entry side of the bus.

"The entire transportation team pulled together to facilitate a terrific system that allowed for a smooth and efficient day," said Director of Transportation Jen Simpson. "I especially want to thank our Fleet Manager, Paul Scheibe, and our mechanics for a job well done. They spent countless hours inspecting, repairing, and re-inspecting every vehicle." FHSD transports approximately 12,000 students on an average school day to 23 schools and programs over a 150 square mile area.

Mechanics inspect busesThe District took transportation in-house for the 2019-20 school year after using First Student for contracted bus service for almost 20 years. One of the objectives was to increase the safety of students with newer and well-maintained buses, and that goal was achieved. In 2019, the First Student buses used to transport FHSD students had an 87.8% approval rating with 15 defective buses, and five buses out of service.

The Francis Howell bus fleet has many new features and safety upgrades, including a new digital radio system (and more dispatchers) to improve communication. Every bus has a minimum of three cameras for increased safety and security, and 50 buses are equipped with stop-arm cameras to capture images of any vehicle that passes a stopped bus. The majority of the fleet is now fueled by gas instead of diesel, meaning the fleet is quieter, more fuel-efficient, cheaper to operate, and much easier to start in cold weather.

Mechanics inspect buses"The Missouri State Highway Patrol works closely with schools and private pupil transportation companies to ensure our students have safe transportation to and from school-related events. This professional relationship is most evident during the annual school bus inspection and results in a successful program," said Colonel Eric T. Olsen, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. "The annual school bus inspection program is just one way the Missouri State Highway Patrol serves and protects our children, and it will remain a priority."

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