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EDITOR’S TAKE


In the Market for an Upgrade Written by Ryan Gray | ryan@stnonline.com L


ocation. Location. Location. The basic tenets of real estate hold true across many applications. Take the school bus garage, for instance. Certainly, where


a school district chooses to build a new main- tenance facility is a decision not to be taken lightly. Adequate and affordable public land is at a premium these days. Factor in the geological studies and environmental impact reports and a project can quickly be tabled. But there is much more to the process.


These projects take not just money but time and careful consideration. With these come planning that can affect today’s vehicle and equipment purchase decisions. Who better to take us through those difficult choices, than maintenance professionals who have first-hand knowledge in managing fleet maintenance? We tackled this subject, and more, in the fol-


lowing pages. A consideration that continually came up in Art Gissendaner’s coverage, which starts on page 38, is the importance of spacing on the garage floor. Also important are selecting locations of work bays, equipment and the like. The idea essentially is to increase the ergo-


nomics of school bus garages, to promote not only worker safety, but efficiency. This extends not only to wide-open spaces that better allow technicians to crawl under and over school bus- es, but also the movement of mobile equipment in and out of the workspace. School Transportation News is not in the business of maintaining school buses, yet the topic got me thinking about our own flow of content. The tool we increasingly use to deliver our product to readers is our stnonline.com website. It’s our garage, if you will, where we house all of our content, including the monthly magazine editions. You may have noticed that the website re-


vealed a facelift at the beginning of the year, but in reality, the process started in 2017. That’s when we began discussing in earnest, migrat- ing our article database to a new platform and how we could reskin the design to be more appealing to readers. While designing a new website seemingly has


12 School Transportation News • FEBRUARY 2019


little in common with designing (or remodeling) a school bus garage, both take a lot of prepara- tion. For our web team of six employees, it was no easy undertaking, especially considering that was over half of our entire company. Granted, the evolution to a state-of-the-art


facility can cost districts or bus companies tens of millions of dollars, compared to launching a new website that cost us a mere fraction of that amount. Still, on a relative scale, our investment was just as enormous, considering all of the work that is necessary to take the project from concept to completion. It took us just under a year from project


launch meeting to realizing the new and im- proved stnonline.com shortly after Christmas. The result, we hope you’ll agree, is more intui- tive user navigation and easily searched articles. Plus, we think, the design is more “2020” than it was “2010.” Fast forward to this month’s magazine issue,


and already you will have noticed a new look to our article layout, as well. Just as we saw a need to evolve our website, we addressed the chang- ing role of our magazine and what it looks like and how it delivers stories to readers. While we will always live up to our name, today’s “break- ing” news is best served via the website, whether on a desktop computer, phone or tablet. We are driving more and more traffic online,


so we can connect you to the latest industry updates and news about our conferences in real time and in the manner that is most convenient to you. Time and easy access are of the essence, especially for our busy readers who are continu- ously on the move. The magazine remains a trusted destination


for thoughtful, detailed analysis of trends and how they affect the industry. It just so happens you can also read it in print or online, no matter your location, location, location. Take a tour of our magazine and website to uncover all they have to offer. ●


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