What Can A Transportation Supervisor Be Used For?
published on December 27, 2013 by Sonia Mastros
school management system, school bus routing software, transportation supervisor
Is your school district putting its transportation supervisor to the best possible use? Although creating bus schedules is a key task for these types of personnel, it's only a fraction of what you could be using them for. To help you get the most value from your transportation supervisor, here are four important job responsibilities that he or she can work to carry out.
1. Designating Bus Routes and Boundaries
The most obvious of your transportation supervisor's responsibilities is in the designation of bus routes and route boundary lines. In the "old days", this objective was extremely challenging, as supervisors were forced to pour over local maps and strategically work to determine the most efficient paths for each school and every single route. Fortunately, new technologies exist that can make the planning process much easier. By investing in routing software, a task that took weeks to complete in the past can now be handled in a fraction of the time. When your staff are able to quickly create routes, set boundaries, and distribute this information to student families and schools, their time will be freed up to handle other, more pertinent tasks.
2. Creating Alternate Emergency Routes
In the event that a weather-related emergency, construction, or other incident obstructs the regular path for one or more of your district's busses, an alternate route must quickly be determined. Instead of panicking or slipping into chaos, your transportation supervisor and his or her team can efficiently plan out a new path for the bus, and quickly communicate it to drivers, parents, and students. By inputting this information into a software system, your supervisor can instantly alert everyone to the changes so that no child gets left behind.
3. Monitoring Driver Practices
Due to recent incidents, parents today are more concerned about their children's safety than ever before. Because of this, it is of the utmost importance that your transportation supervisor is able to take the time to closely monitor the practices of each bus driver. In the past, this would not have been possible. Your supervisor would have had to rely on student reports and have faith that their drivers were adhering to safety regulations. Now, however, your staff can keep a close eye on each school bus through software programs and GPS technology. Your supervisor will receive real-time updates that will alert him or her in the event that a bus goes off route, makes an unscheduled stop, or exceeds the posted speed limits. This information will help transportation coordinators to make decisions about writing up drivers or terminating them, if necessary. But when your bus drivers know that they are being monitored, firing will be less common, as they will feel more motivated to obey rules and drive safely.
4. Tracking Bus and Student Locations
Another important part of ensuring student safety and the quality of their education involves the tracking of school busses and even tracking the students themselves. Using GPS, your transportation supervisor will be able to anticipate when a bus has fallen behind schedule, and can quickly alert the school so that they can plan accordingly for tardy students. You may also opt to offer password-protected parental access controls so that Mom and Dad can have a better idea of when their child will be home. Additionally, RFID chips can be placed in student ID badges, allowing them to "check in" when they board the bus so that parents and guardians will have the peace of mind that their child safely boarded the bus and arrived at school. This same technology can also be useful in other applications. If a child is reported absent for first period, for example, your supervisor can check their RFID chip. lf it shows that the student did arrive at school, it may indicate that they are somewhere on campus, skipping out on class.
How will you put your district's transportation supervisor to better use?