4 Ways GPS Tracking Improves Field Trip Management
published on April 21, 2015 by Sonia Mastros
Schools have a long history of providing cultural experiences to students through the tradition of the school field trip. While there are expenses such as providing school bus transportation and planning bus routes associated with field trips, many schools view these outside-of-the-classroom opportunities as central to their educational mission.
GPS vehicle tracking and bus route management systems make planning a school field trip simpler and safer for students. Benefits are found on the student level, in the peace of mind provided to parents, in financial advantages and on the logistical level.
By using the most advanced technology in route optimization and GPS vehicle tracking, your school district ensures the success of your student transportation for field trips.
1. GPS Tracking Benefits Students On Field Trips
Depending on the hardware your school district chooses for its school transportation software, educators and field trip chaperones are able to make sure every child is accounted for when loading the bus at school and at the planetarium or art museum.
Many bus route management systems utilizing student tracking allow users to download permission slips and consent forms so drivers or the person who has scheduled the trip have a roster in hand. This list provides check boxes next to each child’s name for the receipt of consent forms, medical release forms, medication needed during the trip and other important information.
2. Bus Route Management Systems Provide Parents Peace Of Mind
Parents are often relieved to discover GPS vehicle tracking informs the school district when a school bus is parked in a safe-idle zone, which is designated within the software, so that bus drivers don’t run personal errands with the school district’s vehicle.
This is especially important if there are students on the bus. If a child falls asleep on the bus, and the bus driver takes the bus on an errand, the student may be put in danger. With bus routing software, incidents like these are prevented.
Parents’ worries are further assuaged when they know if busses are running late. Since field trips are not standard school days, students often take more time than planned when returning home. GPS tracking and routing software alerts parents when delays occur.
3. School Transportation Software Has Financial Advantages
Per the previous example of the safety benefits of GPS tracking, bus drivers are prevented from using a school bus for personal errands while waiting for students to return from a field trip.
While safety is a priority, there are also financial reasons to prevent school bus drivers from using buses outside of authorized school bus transportation agendas. First, unscheduled errands have the potential to waste gas money the school district is paying for.
Perhaps most importantly, however, the potential cost and liability for the school district may be significant if the driver gets in an accident. The situation is worsened if an unnoticed child was asleep on the bus during the incident.
4. Route Optimization Improves Logistics On Field Trips
One of the primary benefits of using routing software when planning a school field trip is that efficiency is greatly increased. Often, school districts are able to use buses for more than one trip or for normal drop-offs, depending on the time of day, the distance of the field trip and scheduling. And, in the case of long-distance trips, some school districts use a contractor and a charter bus. Increasingly more contractors are choosing charter buses that utilize GPS tracking, benefiting students and parents.
Presenting student-level, parent-level, financial and logistical benefits, GPS tracking and school transportation software are smart decisions for districts planning school field trips and transporting students day-to-day.
The latest in route optimization technology brings new life to how school trips are planned and transportation is scheduled. If you have questions about how GPS tracking may benefit your school district, it is advisable to ask an expert.
Ready to learn how to make your school district’s transportation program more efficient by implementing school transportation software? Call 267-915-4188 to speak with an industry professional or click here to access live chat and receive assistance.