MSBOA Events

The MSBOA today continues to promote this sharing of knowledge as well as a helpful attitude by holding two annual conferences.  These conferences and training seminars provide members with plenty of time for networking in addition to keeping its members informed on relevant laws and ever-changing regulations.  The MSBOA is proud of its past and remains dedicated to passenger safety as evident from the organization’s masthead “Serving Safely Since 1948”.


The list of association undertakings is quite extensive as highlighted by the following time line:

1950 Repealed the need for tandem axles on buses capable of hauling more than 48 passengers.

1954 Made the first formal request by any group for uniform rules for the inspection of school busses and the enforcement of those rules. This would prove to be the first of almost countless, proactive rule changes recommended by the MSBOA.

1955 Hired Maylon Holman as the MSBOA lobbyist dedicated to improving school bus safety.

1961 MSBOA, almost single-handedly, defeated what was to be the first of many attempts to require seatbelts in school buses.

1964 The Minnesota delegation were leaders in the successful repeal of the federal excise tax on school buses.

1965 Hosted the first NAPT convention in Bloomington, MN.

1969 The MSBOA made available to its members, safety and training slides and tapes developed by the NSTA.

1971 The MSBOA is instrumental in getting the SB license plate fee of $25 adopted.

1972 Standard 17 is enacted. That means Minnesota Golden Orange Buses must be painted School Bus Glossy Yellow. Minnesota stood alone in this fight and lost. MSBOA hated to lose their color because they believed the public associated orange with potential hazards. While this is not an achievement of the MSBOA it does serve as a turning point that the Nation is attempting to catch up with Minnesota with regards to school bus uniformity and regulations.

1972 The newly formed National Association of School Bus Contract Operators fights off a serious movement from transit systems from getting federal aid to get into the school transportation business. NASBCO President Jim DeVeau leads the fight.

1972 The School Bus Operator - the official newsletter of the MSBOA is introduced. This newsletter continues to provide industry news to its members on the first of every month.

1973 The MSBOA led the support for the implementation of the 8 lamp system, and convinced the legislature to provide funding for this incredible safety device.

1973 School buses were exempted from axle weight limitations during seasonal load restriction period.

1974 Succeeded in obtaining legislation allowing school districts the choice between strict bidding and negotiated contracts with school transportation providers.

1976 Obtained legislation which gave school buses protections under Minnesota No-Fault insurance laws.

1977 Hired Joe Beaton as the successor to Maylon Holman and began meeting with MAPT every winter in order to discuss legislative matters.

1980 Began sending delegates to the National School Bus Standards conference, which occurs every five years.

1980 MSBOA in conjunction with MAPT and the MN State Patrol work on Minnesota School Bus Inspector's Manual due to a concern with LCRs "free wheeling" out on the job site.

1982 MSBOA and MAPT work attempt to repeal the two-mile walking limit that was enacted by the 1981 legislature. Instead of an outright appeal, it received levy authority for local districts to pay for such service.

1982 Began Accident-Free gold pin to award drivers who had a safe year behind the wheel.

1983 Convinced the legislature that school bus driver should be treated the same as school employees for purposes of unemployment compensation.

1987 ISBORRG (Independent School Bus Operators Risk Retention Group) is formed in an attempt to allow contractors to control their own destiny as far as insurance was concerned.

1988 Created the School Bus Driver Development Series, in cooperation with the MAPT. This series has become the standard of the industry for driver training.

1989 MSBOA Drug Testing Consortium is created. Three dollars from every test is given back to the MSBOA for safety programs.

1990 MSBOA Safety Fund is created from the proceeds of the Safety Raffle and the Drug Testing Consortium. This is Minnesota's first privately funded program to promote school bus safety on a state wide basis.

1992 The Transportation Specialist Award program is developed to recognize the great people who drive our students to and from school. This is one of the first programs of its kind in the entire country.

1993 The School Bus Safety Folder is created with the Safety Fund. The folder is a useful tool for teachers to talk about school bus safety to their classes. The folder eventually is sold nationwide and is translated into Spanish.

1995 Delegates of the MSBOA sit on the School Bus Safety Task Force. This was a sweeping re-write of the Minnesota school bus rules. These recommendations succeeded in mandating student rider training in the classroom and recognized for the first time that riding on the school bus was a privilege not a right.

1999 The MSBOA Coloring Book is created. This book helps explain school bus safety to the very youngest passengers.

1999 School bus funding is rolled in with the general fund. Beaton calls the legislative process "unstoppable".

2001 The Joe Beaton MSBOA Memorial Scholarship is created to honor Joe Beaton the MSBOA's lobbyist and devoted friend for nearly 25 years. This $1000 scholarship is dedicated to school bus drivers, their children, and grandchildren who wish to better themselves by attending a university or vocational school.

2001 The MSBOA Stop and Stay Stopped Video is produced to educate the driving public on what do around the school bus. The video is distributed to school districts around the state to be shown at 55 Alive, Driver's Education Training Courses and other community groups. Video is sold nationally.

2002 Gary Botzek, of Capitol Connections, is retained as the new MSBOA Lobbyist.

2003 Rinke Noonan is retained as MSBOA Legal Counsel.

2004 The first self-inspection bill is submitted.  The bill would allow school buses and Head Start buses to be inspected by certified inspectors instead of the annual state inspection conducted by the State Patrol.  The membership is torn in half over the issue as many members feel that the State Patrol inspection carries more weight.  Others point out that self-inspections are already done in the trucking and motor coach industries.  MSBOA works with MAPT to get some levy authority for those members who need to replace their Carpenter buses.


2005 MN faces the implementation of 2% Biodiesel. MSBOA works to get a temporary exemption of the requirement until filter clogging issues were resolved.


2006 MSBOA fends off the first version of an anti-privatization bill that would make contracting for school bus services very difficult.  MSBOA submits a bill attempting to reestablish a state transportation funding formula.  While the bill did not see much action, it sent a message that the present system needs to be looked at with fresh eyes. The Lifetime Achievement Award is established to honor those who have dedicated their life to the school transportation industry.



2007 The MSBOA participated in the legislative audit of school transportation.  Testified against another anti-unionization bill and participated in two legislative subcommittee hearings on self-inspection of school buses and Type III driver qualifications.  Tom Revnew replaces Rinke Noonan as official MSBOA Legal Counsel.  The Jim DeVeau Award is established to honor those who have been dedicated to the MSBOA.


2008 The Office of Pupil Transportation Safety is established.  This would put a full-time state trooper to head school bus safety in the state and allow more inspectors to be hired.   MSBOA celebrates its 60th Anniversary. 


2009    Thomas Keliher replaces Gary Botzek as lobbyist for the MSBOA.  MSBOA deals with legislation that includes them in the expansion of the child passenger safety seat.


2010  The MSBOA is successfully able to reverse the 2009 expansion of the booster seat requirements for school buses.  The MSBOA Safety Committee funds a state wide billboard campaign to urge motorists to Stop on Red –Kids Ahead. The MSBOA also works on an exemption from the biodiesel requirements for #1 Fuel during the winter months.



2011  The MSBOA successfully testifies in front of the Special Master requesting that DVS officials are funded during the State shutdown so that school bus drivers can apply and renew their commercial driver’s licenses.  The Friends of the MSBOA PAC is formed and makes a very successful initial fund drive.  Transit encroachment becomes an issue again in Northern Minnesota. The MSBOA partners with the Office of Pupil Transportation Safety to keep Minnesota children on the yellow school bus.

2012  The MSBOA initiated a mandatory requirement for crossing gates on all newly manufactured school buses.  This bill arose from the fatality of a 6-year-old boy in Pine River, Minnesota named Evan Lindquist.  The driver lost track of the student while handling a discipline issue during a student stop. The MSBOA realizes that no system is perfect, but believed that the gate is a low-cost device that has the potential to save lives.




The MSBOA attempts to defend transit encroachment in the metro area. Minneapolis begins transporting its high school students with the Metro Bus.  The MSBOA also creates it Child Safety Check Kit to help prevent Children being left on buses.  The kit is sold nationwide and MSBOA partners with Child Check-Mate Systems to distribute the kit with their systems.



The MSBOA partners with law enforcement on an Unauthorized Rider video to train drivers on the issue of illegal boardings by non-students.



The MSBOA works on addressing the Nationwide Driver shortage by working with Goff Public on a series of social media posts and letters to the media. The MSBOA Legislative Committee begins work on a law to strengthen the Stop Arm Law because of the disparity between the number of occurrences and the actual prosecution numbers.The MSBOA Legislative Committee also attempts to open the number of 3rd Party Testers so that members have more options when attempting to get potential drivers behind the wheel.

2017 - MSBOA begins the first ever "School Bus Driver Appreciation Day" on February 22nd. MSBOA introduces legislation to increase stop arm fines to $500. The bill passes and goes into effect August 1.