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GreenStep City Best Practices Transportation

Efficient City Fleets
no. 13

Implement a city fleet investment, operations and maintenance plan.
  Best Practice Action 5      [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 ]       [all actions]

Document that the local school bus fleet has optimized routes, start times, boundaries, vehicle efficiency and fuels, driver actions to cut costs including idling reduction, and shifting students from the bus to walking, biking and city transit.

Implement at least two strategies, which can include training drivers in fuel-efficient driving, adopting a no idling policy/practice. Report Safe Routes to School (shifting students from the bus to biking/walking) implementation results under best practice action 12.2
Use of route optimizer software, or city buses, or other techniques to reduce bus usage.
Documentation (including energy and costs) of implementation of actions.

Coon Rapids

Date action report first entered:   12/02/2014
Date of last report update:   12/03/2014

Implementation details:
Keith Paulson is the Transportation Director for the Anoka-Hennepin School District that manages 323 buses serving 38,000 students K-12. The entire district has a no idling policy for all buses especially related to location of buses to reduce emissions near schools or where students are nearby. They have also worked hard to optimize start and end times of schools to ensure the most efficient routes are able to be used. The strive to ensure buses service multiple schools within a day. They also completed an extensive study to make bus routes most efficient but expanding how far students walk to bus stops. This study also included planning routes with the least amount of driving for buses, especially in residential neighborhoods. Routes are now more streamlined and as a result more efficient. Because the district contracts their bus services, they work to maximize the buses when they are being used. A 3 year study was completed to ensure buses have maximized seating capacity. They found that about 75-80% of elementary and middle school students ride the bus and only about 40% of high school students. Using this information, they have rerouted buses to ensure they are at appropriate seating capacities. This resulted in 20 less buses needed for the district. They continue to make adjustments as needed. These conscious efforts have made the district more efficient, saved money and allowed them to put more money into the classrooms.

Descriptive links: http://anokahennepin.schoolwires.net/anokahennepin

For more information contact:
Colleen Sinclair (City staff)   |   csinclair@coonrapidsmn.gov   |   763-767-6485

View All Coon Rapids Actions

Saint Paul

Date action report first entered:   10/20/2014
Date of last report update:   10/20/2014

Implementation details:
Saint Paul now has a fleet of 66 school buses that run on propane instead of diesel. These vehicles emit 60% fewer carbon monoxide emissions, and heat up faster than buses that run on diesel, which is better for drivers and students in the wintertime.

View All Saint Paul Actions


Date action report first entered:   01/13/2011

Implementation details:
ISD 196 in Eagan uses a computerized route optimizer for their school bus fleets to optimize the distances traveled. Three tiers for school starting times are also used to reduce the sizes of fleets and buses on the roads. A no idling policy is also set to ensure buses are not running while unintended.

For more information contact:
District 196 Transportation (City staff)   |   karen.newman@district196.org   |   651-423-7685

View All Eagan Actions


Date action report first entered:   09/10/2013

Implementation details:
Rochester's public school transportation service recently upgraded their computer route generating software over to Transfinder software. Transfinder is a leader in school transportation management, district-wide communications, GPS integration, fleet maintenance, and outreach to parents and the community. This program enables the city to; • Provide safe and reliable student transportation; • Allocate and manage transportation assets to optimal performance; • Adjust to day-to-day schedule, school, or route changes; • Ensure a smooth transition to meet the challenges of regionalization and/or redistricting; • Communicate and interact in real time with district-wide personnel, teachers, parents and the community; and • Meet budgetary challenges without reducing the quality of services. The bus drivers in the district also maintain and abide by a 5 minute wait for the idle policy to come into play. The buses are also equipped with GPS to ensure tracking and avoiding excessive driving. The transportation service is looking at finding ways to finance alternative fuel buses in years to come.

Descriptive links: http://www.transfinder.com/img/papers_and_colateral/brochure_k4uuk25t8a.pdf

For more information contact:
Phil Wheeler (City staff)   |   wheeler.phil@CO.OLMSTED.MN.US   |   507-328-7101

View All Rochester Actions


Date action report first entered:   04/24/2017
Date of last report update:   04/24/2017
Year action initially completed:   2016
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   Yes

Implementation details:
Sartell - St.Stephen Schools work with the local bus company to ensure routes are optimized. The city's Safe-Routes-To-School plan encourages walking/biking to school. One of the strategies which has been used in the plan is the organization of local walk and bike to school groups.

For more information contact:
Nate Keller (City staff)   |   nate.keller@sartellmn.com   |   320-258-7316

View All Sartell Actions

Albert Lea

Date action report first entered:   07/21/2016
Date of last report update:   07/21/2016

Implementation details:
Albert Lea school bus routes are optimized for efficiency as per industry best practices.

For more information contact:
Jerry Gabrielatos (City staff)   |   jgabrielatos@ci.albertlea.mn.us   |   507-377-4316

View All Albert Lea Actions


Date action report first entered:   02/29/2012

Implementation details:
Palmer uses least amount of buses as possible, also working with Project Green Fleet

Outcome measures/metrics:
This is in progress at the time of this post.

For more information contact:
Janet Anderson (Community volunteer)   |   janetanderson2840@gmail.com   |   5072190680

Palmer Bus Service, Project Green Fleet

View All Austin Actions

Fergus Falls

Date action report first entered:   01/14/2016
Date of last report update:   01/14/2016

Implementation details:
Parent volunteers at one of the local elementary schools organize a “Walking School Bus” to and from school each day to promote walking to school.

For more information contact:
Len Taylor (City staff)   |   len.taylor@ci.fergus-falls.mn.us   |   218-332-5418

View All Fergus Falls Actions

Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe

Date action report first entered:   04/15/2015
Date of last report update:   04/15/2015

Implementation details:
There is an idling reduction campaign in process and local School district optimize routes each year. 65 school busses on the reservation were etrofitted to becoming more energy efficient

For more information contact:
Brandy Toft (City staff)   |   air@lldrm.org   |   218-335-7429

View All Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Actions

pending means a star rating has not yet been assigned to this city

greenstep advisor
Rebecca Place, Electric Vehicle Coordinator, MN Pollution Control Agency: 651-757-2807, rebecca.place@state.mn.us