4 Signs Your School's Bus Route Is Safe And Efficient
published on January 17, 2014 by Sonia Mastros
route optimization software, route management software, school bus routing software
How long has it been since your school district updated its bus routing and tracking policies?
With school budgets continuing to crunch, far too many schools are neglecting their bus services because (in our experience) the perception is transportation problems are too expensive for anything but band-aid solutions. Even schools that have embraced high-tech solutions - such as computerized student tracking, ID badges, or on-campus WiFi - tend to neglect their transportation services.
Today, there are plenty of options on the market that allow a school to economically optimize their bus routes, while also making the rides safer and faster for the students. For a school that needs to take their budget further than ever before, this can be an excellent way to save a lot of money.
Still, such solutions aren't necessary for some school districts. Here are four ways to tell whether your bus system is already as optimal as it needs to be:
You Don't Need A New Bus Routing System If...
1. You're Running No More Buses Than Necessary
The transportation costs associated with running more busses than necessary can quickly become exceedingly high, easily adding up to thousands of dollars per day, counting labor, maintenance, and fuel costs. Even having an outsourced bus service cannot guarantee buses are being used to their best extent. Once a school sells off its buses, an outsourced transportation service knows they have a captive client.
A well-optimized set of bus routes is the new cornerstone for a modern bus routing system. With budgets getting pinched, and no relief in sight, there are few better signs that your transportation system is efficient than knowing you are using every bus to its greatest potential.
2. Every Child Can Be Located Instantly
While the problem of "lost children" tends to be overblown in a media environment that loves provoking parents into action, it's undeniable that "lost" children do happen every now and then. Even if virtually all of them are located an hour or two later, it's still costly and embarrassing whenever it happens.
However, if your district is already using a system that tracks students' bus usage through RFID-enabled badges, then chances are, lost children aren't much of an issue any more. A student trying to get off at the wrong stop - or not disembarking when they're supposed to - will immediately alert the driver, practically eliminating most issues with students getting lost.
3. Data Tracking Provides Early Maintenance Warnings
A school bus is, of course, only as safe as its maintenance record. However, since the mechanics working on a bus rarely drive that bus, there's a significant disconnect between the workers and the drivers.
Districts utilizing GPS tracking, however, know that this can be bridged with the data that a GPS unit brings in. By compiling and measuring important performance indicators such as braking distances and fuel consumption, it's far easier for mechanics to know how the buses are performing on the road.
The safest buses, after all, are those whose maintenance issues are taken care of long before they become a significant safety concern.
4. Your Drivers Already Follow All The Laws
How well do you trust the people who are being paid to haul dozens of students around at highway speeds every day? Do you know for certain they're fully complying with local safety regulations, such as speed limits, passing zones, and stop signs?
If so, you're probably using bus tracking software already. After all, the only way to know for certain your drivers are staying within the law is by deploying GPS tracking that watches the bus from moment to moment. GPS tracking makes it simple to see if a bus is staying within the speed limit, fully stopping when required, and completely following the rules of the road.
Otherwise, without being able to see where a bus is at all times, you're ultimately just taking it on faith that a driver is performing properly.
BusBoss: The Safe And Simple Solution For Bus Management
If any of these items aren't true for your district, it may be time for a change. The BusBoss school bus management platform provides an affordable and exceptionally easy-to-use system for:
Optimizing dozens of routes, even for multiple districts at once, within minutes.
Eliminating unnecessary bus routes.
Adding, changing, or removing stops based on enrollment changes through the year.
Tracking and collating performance and driving data.
Following buses in route, moment to moment, from the district office.
Preventing children from being left on the bus, or allowed off at the wrong stop.
To learn more about the features and benefits of BusBoss, we cordially invite you to download the free demo, or contact us directly for a quote on the custom bus management software your district needs!