5 School Bus Trends for the 2018-2019 School Year
published on September 21, 2018 by Sonia Mastros
These are exciting times for those in the school transportation industry! There has been so much innovation in the world of vehicles, particularly when it comes to integrating computer technology into existing systems. It may take a little while for new ideas to make it into the world of school buses, due to the much greater safety and security concerns, but there are still plenty of new options for districts to take advantage of.
Here are some of the school bus trends in technology and security we're most excited about at BusBoss.
Five School Bus Trends Worth Keeping an Eye On
1. Increased Adoption of Alternate Fuel, Particularly Electricity
The bus industry is still overwhelmingly dominated by diesel and other fossil fuels - but those numbers are on the decline. We're particularly excited by the prospect of new electric school buses on the horizon, ones which can meet or beat the power of fossil fuels but in a much more cost-effective and eco-friendly fashion. Plus, electric vehicles often see lower maintenance costs as well.
2. Wi-Fi on Buses
Wi-Fi is everywhere else, so why not school buses? With so many kids spending so many hours every year riding buses, adding Wi-Fi can mean a lot of extra time available for studying or working on homework, particularly for students who lack good Internet access at home. Google's even forming partnerships with districts to make it easier to roll out Wi-Fi on a bus fleet.
3. New Ways to Stop Illegal Bus Passing
One of the biggest threats to school bus safety has always been motorists ignoring a school bus's stop arm and speeding by while children are loading or unloading. Fortunately, new techniques aim to prevent this. Stop-arm cameras are one option, although they're relatively expensive and can cause public relations issues. For our money, it may be that simply adding more and brighter lights is the most cost-effective and friendly solution.
4. Improved Motion Detectors
This may be one of the best new school bus safety technologies in a very long time. The EDGE3 motion detector is an affordable unit which can detect any movement on a bus which should be deserted - even a child asleep under a blanket. Look to see a lot of these on buses in years to come, as they can virtually eliminate accidental child abandonment.
5. Optimized Routing Software
There's simply no reason for school districts to create routes by hand. Modern software can optimize routes, avoid danger zones, even create smart alternatives for avoiding areas that see frequent traffic jams. A single software purchase can radically reduce on-road costs, or even eliminate entire routes!
Have you hear of any others? Is there anything you think is desperately needed? Let us know so we can figure out how we can help.