Sunday, June 03, 2007

Halifax school buses gearing for 100K savings and cleaner air for kids

Stock Transportation, the company that transports students across the Halifax Regional School Board system, is stepping up its partnership with The Children’s Clean Air Network to cut idle-time across its fleet of 263 buses.

Double-click on the image below to hear General Manager Brian Hackett's assessment of the progress so far.

The company figures it will easily save $100,000 dollars to its bottom line and eliminate several hundred tons of CO2 and other pollutants.

“$100,000 dollars is pretty conservative. We think we’ll be able to save even more by coaching our drivers with the help of The Children’s Clean Air Network,” says Brian Hackett, General Manager of Stock Transportation.

“We’re using a soft-sell approach to reach our drivers on the importance of clean air to kids. For example, we’re putting ‘cut idle time’ decals next to each ignition switch and reminders with pay stubs. The Children’s Clean Air Network also helped us with key messages from teachers and students. Our drivers are responding very positively. We’re delighted,” Hackett said.

“We’re helping kids sell grown-ups on treating our air as if it were another landfill to avoid ,” says Ron Zima of The Children’s Clean Air Network. “The kids have the most to lose from poor air and the threat from climate change. When we position kids in front of adults on this, the adults respond.” Zima said.

Carmelita Rowe is the principal of Kingswood Elementary School and an advisor to The Children’s Clean Air Network. She says, “Our school bus drivers are considered close members of the school family. Drivers personally consider our students’ health and safety a priority. When they’re reminded of the impact that diesel exhaust has on students, we’re confident they’ll shut the buses off whenever possible.”

Ron Zima, The Children's Clean Air Network, Stock Transportation driver Wendy MacKay, General Manager Brian Hackett.