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You can't get any better than perfect

Orion buses get perfect score from state

John Clark helps keep the 70 buses in Lake Orionís fleet in tip-top shape and has earned perfect scores from the state of Michigan in 2012 and now in 2013. (click for larger version)
January 30, 2013 - Dale Goby has 70 reasons to smile.

Goby, Director of Transportation for Lake Orion Schools, has a broad smile because the Michigan State Police just awarded Orion schools a certificate of excellence for perfect maintenance on all 70 buses in the 2011-2012 fleet.

"The district has a history of excellent maintenance on the buses and doing well on the state police inspection," Goby said.

To earn the commendation, each bus in the Orion fleet undergoes a 339-point inspection. Items such as glass and windshields, sheet metal, lighting, and more serious elements like brakes, steering, and suspension are checked by state police for deficiencies.

Police tag faulty buses, indicating what must be fixed before the bus can return to service. Orion received no tags this year, thus the perfect maintenance award. This marks the first time since the 2007-08 school year that Orion has received a perfect rating.

"What's remarkable is that the recent award results from inspections done on buses that have now been replaced," Goby said.

His new fleet has been inspected and Orion will receive another perfect score next year, Goby indicated. "It was again a perfect inspection—perfect is good I think," Goby quipped.

As the first step in the transition between home and school, buses are a critical link in the education of Orion's youngsters. Well-maintained buses thus mean a lot to Orion schools. "It means safer vehicles. It means greater reliability and greater dependability, Goby said.

In that context, the value of bus maintenance is hard to overstate. "It's the essential part of providing transportation services to our residents and they have high expectations," Goby said.

Goby gives the credit for the perfect scores to his mechanic staff. "We've got three mechanics, not a large work force," he said. "I've been in school transportation for a long time, and these are the best mechanics I've ever seen in terms of their dedication to their work and the focus on the mission."

If you'd like to see what the Transportation Department is up to or if you have further questions about the certificate of excellence, contact Mr. Goby at 248-391-5455.†

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