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How To Improve The Reliability Of School Bus Transportation System?

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  • Post last modified:November 10, 2022
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Summary

Modern transportation software is a powerful tool that vastly improves the reliability and safety of school bus transportation systems. Deploying one that best fits your needs will be a great operational asset.

Post-Covid lifestyles: improving our school bus transportation systems.

As the world returns to life – as we knew it! – of the pre-Covid times, all public areas, especially those that are inherently crowded spaces, involve mass transit, and result in close physical proximity, are under scrutiny and evoking concern.

A leading area of concern is public transportation. Scores of people are limping back to their daily schedules, offices are opening up (and now mandating a return to regular office attendance), and this naturally requires the use of mass public transit. A particularly important subset within this is school bus transportation; here, the concerns about safety are amplified several times since there are children involved.

And, while there is every indication that people plan on using public transport and sending their kids on school buses once again, there are several issues of importance that must be addressed anew.

Deploying technology to improve school bus transportation systems.

Well, the use of technology to improve every aspect of our lives is now the way of our world. Naturally, using technology to improve school bus transportation is very much relevant, too.

The rapid advancement of technology usage in the transportation industry has seen buses fitted with GPS, Wi-Fi, radios, and numerous other tech integrations, both software and hardware. As a result, the happy combination of school bus transportation systems and technology has helped school authorities and parents to arrive at a solution that ensures safety and efficiency. 

Let’s look at some top ways in which technology has improved the school bus transportation system. 

1) Keep track of their children’s movements:

Parents are naturally concerned about their children’s whereabouts when they are not present.

Efficient usage and integration of GPS and RFID technology now enable bus-tracking technology in real time.

Parents can also monitor the movement of their children as they board or alight the bus, too.

2) Bus-tracking in real-time: By natural extension of the (above) monitoring technology, transportation teams, and school admin can also track bus movement along prescribed routes, checking for unauthorized deviations, unwarranted delays, overall travel times (etc.). This also helps in monitoring fuel consumption, safety measures prescribed (etc.)

3) Optimized routing: Till recent years, the scheduling and routing of buses was a tiresome and cumbersome process. Given the number of variables to be satisfied (number of kids, various locations for pickup and drop-off, different timings for school extracurricular activities, etc.), it was a challenging task indeed!

However, with smart technology, transport logistics teams now use advanced software like route-optimizing software to automatically plan the most feasible route(s). 

Modern software for transportation and logistics: a seismic improvement

Efficient software to manage a school bus transportation system provides numerous advantages including live tracking, maintaining fleet vehicle and driver details, optimizing routes, and allocating vehicles and teams per requirements.

As you search for a school bus tracking app/software that best fits your needs, let’s look at the top features that yours must offer. 

1) GPS: The presence of GPS technology has vastly enhanced school bus transportation! It helps live tracking, improves safety, optimizes routes, and efficiently schedules pick-ups and drop-offs, among many others.

2) Real-time notifications: Another significant improvement in modern bus management is that teams can communicate in real time. Drivers and bus teams are connected with the central control teams in real time. Updates about route progress, changes in routes if required (e.g. due to traffic congestion or bad weather), and keeping the driver notified (etc.), are all features that modern automated route management software provides.

3) Payment options: To pay the school bus fees, you can use a variety of digital and convenient payment methods, such as credit and debit cards, digital wallets, and net banking. Billing and invoices are also digitally generated and easily stored, further simplifying the process.

4) Robust platform: There are numerous data points generated during a trip, including the route map, pickup, and drop-off points, children present or absent, time is taken to complete the trip, deviations if any (etc.). Plus, each of these is studied, tabulated, analyzed, sliced-and-diced in various ways to not only check if the actual results are per the planned program but also reasons for deviation, how improvements can be made (etc.).

Therefore, be sure to opt for a software system that is based on a robust platform and can withstand the pressure of such transactions, scale – and of course, maintain the necessary security.

5) Improved safety for children: With all the features available, perhaps the single largest benefit is the vastly improved safety of the entire school bus transportation system.

From real-time tracking, updates of kids boarding and alighting, or delays due to traffic or weather, school authorities and parents are much more assured of their kids’ whereabouts.

6) Online support: Live online support by the help desk by way of chat windows, phone lines, and social media platforms provides parents and authorities with a convenient and easily accessible platform for interaction.

Net result: numerous benefits for school authorities, parents, and school-going children.

We live in hectic, modern times. With both parents (likely) working, it isn’t easy to manage work and home schedules – particularly children’s schedules! Therefore, modern software transportation solution for education-related transportation is a huge help for school authorities and parents – not to mention the children themselves! 

In a nutshell, let’s look at the leading benefits:

1) Children are safe and secure: To reiterate an earlier point, the biggest benefit is that parents and school authorities can rest assured of the safety and daily movement of the kids since they can track their location in real time. Therefore, they are well aware of on-time movements, delays, reasons thereof (etc.)

2) Transport schedules communicated well in advance: The pickup/ drop-off schedules are communicated well in advance and thus, parents can plan accordingly about being present at the requisite locations. Any changes are communicated in real-time by the software, so adequate steps can be taken

3) Optimized routing: The software ensures optimal routing by balancing out numerous variables including the number of children, locations, timings, stops (etc.)

4) Detailed reports: Since everything is automated and recorded as digital data, the administrative teams can review the data to assess factors (e.g. driver efficiency, fuel usage, vehicle usage, and repairs) to not only analyze what is working but also keep an eye on making constant improvements. This, ultimately, leads to increased operational efficiency and safety and minimizes costs.

Conclusion: As is evident, using modern, automated school bus tracking software offers numerous benefits that improve the overall reliability and safety of a school bus tracking system.

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