How To Use Bus Tracking Correctly
published on January 09, 2013 by Sonia Mastros
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So, your school just went ahead and decided to invest in a GPS-based bus tracking system. That's an excellent call. GPS tracking can save you money on your bus fleet in numerous ways, as well as helping to keep the students in your care safe, but only if it's used properly. You get a lot of new options when you switch to a GPS system, and it's not uncommon for new users to be unsure about how to get the most from their new bus tracking system.
We've put together a quick guide discussing some of the best ways to put your GPS bus tracking to use. These are the elements you'll want to focus on, especially if you're concerned with demonstrating the value of the system as quickly as possible.
The Best Uses For A Bus Tracking System
Most of the benefits to bus tracking can be broken down into two main areas: cost-savings, and safety. Let's look at the cost benefits first!
Optimize your routes. GPS tracking software doesn't simply track your buses. It integrates into your route planning software, and the data you obtain from your drivers can then be used to create better, more fuel-efficient routes.
Monitor for maintenance needs. Much like the old days when you might keep a log of your mileage in a car with every fill-up, GPS tracking can alert you to mechanical problems within your buses based on their performance. If a bus suddenly becomes 10% less efficient overnight, you'll know that same day and can have someone look into it immediately, before it costs you any more money.
Encourage fuel economy. Because you can monitor driver activity, such as acceleration and braking habits, you can see which of your drivers are the most fuel-efficient. Meetings and discussions with hard numbers at their core can drive your efforts to encourage fuel-consciousness, bringing more savings.
On-the-road repairs. Should a bus suffer a minor failure, such as a flat tire, you can get it repaired and back on the road faster than ever. GPS bus tracking allows you to instantly pinpoint its location, allowing a repair crew or replacement vehicle to reach it far more quickly.
School Bus Tracking Safety Systems
GPS bus systems aren't just for your own benefit. While cost savings are impressive enough – especially in a budget-conscious district – you can just as easily demonstrate its ability to keep your students safe!
Never lose a bus. There's always a small, but present, danger of a bus “going rogue.” Maybe it's the driver, or maybe it was a hijacking, but either way: if the bus deviates from its route or even begins driving erratically, you will know within minutes. The delay between a dangerous situation arising and the arrival of help will be shorter than ever.
Avoid danger zones. Areas in town that you want the bus to avoid stopping in, such as places known to have drug dealers or a released sex offender, can be zoned as dangerous and automatically generate Alerts. The routing software will avoid scheduling stops there, and if a bus lingers in that area, you'll know instantly.
Track students individually. By combining a GPS bus tracking system with ID-card based student tracking system, losing students becomes harder than ever. They're logged as being on the bus as soon as they enter, and if they depart anywhere other than their scheduled stop, you can be alerted. A lost child can be traced immediately back to the point they exited the bus, potentially making a far smaller area to search. It's just one more layer of safety protecting your students from the dangers on the road.
Whether it's cost or safety you're most interested in, GPS bus tracking is the solution to your needs. Through proper usage, you can vastly decrease your costs and keep your students safer at the same time!