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School Bus Transportation: Calming Autistic Students

The numbers are a bit fuzzy, but somewhere between 1-2% of students are diagnosed as having Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a developmental disorder that creates social and communicative impairments. Autistic students can be difficult to deal with - particularly for those who aren't trained in working with them.

School Bus Safety: More Than Just Seat Belts

Many school districts looking to improve their school bus safety are starting to turn to seat belts as one potential answer. However, the debate over school bus seat belts is surprisingly complicated. Plus, in any case, retrofitting an entire bus fleet with belts on every seat is a very expensive proposition.

Without wading into the question of whether school bus belts will actually save lives, we've got some suggestions for more cost-effective alternatives to improve school bus safety.

Four Reasons to Replace Aging School Buses

School buses are extremely expensive, and represent a huge investment for any school district which has purchased a fleet. It's entirely understandable that a district would want to get the most possible use out of their buses. However, nothing escapes the ravages of time, and at some point any school bus will outlive its usefulness.

Pitching a major fleet upgrade can be an uphill battle, but sometimes it's simply necessary. Or, at least, the cost-benefit analysis points towards old buses being too much of a liability. Here are some big warning signs that those older buses should probably be replaced.

School Bus Maintenance: Controlling Costs

When it comes to the costs of a school bus fleet, fuel is usually the number one line item - but school bus maintenance costs are rarely far behind. Buses can be expensive to maintain but, of course, it's absolutely necessary to keep the buses running safely and on schedule.

Maintenance costs will always be needed, but they can often be reduced. Here are some tips for getting your ongoing costs-of-ownership as low as possible.

Five Must-Have Fleet Tracking Features

As things stand, there are a lot of arguments in favor of embracing a school bus tracking system, and very few reasons not to. Tracking your school buses on the road gives you much better insight into your bus operations, provides plenty of data to help lower your on-road costs and, of course, substantially improves school bus safety.

Bus tracking is an investment into your fleet that easily justifies the expense, and will quickly pay for itself through lowered costs.

School Bus Drivers: New FMCSA Diabetes Rule

Insulin-dependent diabetics got a big piece of good news this month: Thanks to a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rule change, it is now much easier for them to receive commercial interstate driver's licenses.

Five Best Practices for Hiring School Bus Drivers

Are you having much luck hiring new school bus drivers? If you're like many districts around the country, this is a constant source of frustration. The bus driver shortage shows no signs of abating, with some outlets even referring to it as "the new norm."

To get qualified drivers into your district, you need to be creative about your recruitment techniques - but without sacrificing any quality in your hires. We've got some suggestions for how to do just that.

Environmental Benefits of School Bus Transportation

Is yellow the new green? It would be if more people knew the environmental benefits of school bus transportation!

School buses bring numerous benefits to a community, but all too often, the environmental aspects are overlooked. Buses can genuinely help reduce a community's reliance on automobiles, improve the local atmosphere, and prevent needless gasoline waste - among other positives.

This is a great topic to bring up with parents, or even students, whenever the matter of school bus transportation comes up. It can be especially useful when it's time to talk about funding upgrades for your bus fleet!

NHTSA Video Asks Drivers to Stop for School Buses

There is no doubt that nearby drivers are one of the biggest dangers to students riding school buses. Every year, cars ignoring bus safety lights and stop arms endanger, injure, or even kill student riders. This is a problem that should be preventable, if only there were better public education - and now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is trying to make that happen.

Dealing With School Bus Trespassing

Sometimes it seems like people do things that we shouldn't need to say are completely inappropriate...like trespassing on school buses. Unfortunately, it happens. In fact, in recent months there have been several high-profile cases of unauthorized individuals boarding school buses to harass students or staff. Worse, some districts - such as the Escambia County School District - have discovered there aren't even laws on the books preventing it!

While not the most common threat to student bus safety, school bus trespassing is a legitimate problem that districts should be prepared to confront. Here are some of the things you and your drivers should be aware of.

NHTSA to Study the Effect of Seat Belts on Student Behavior

When it comes to school transportation safety, few issues have been more contentious than the matter of school bus seat belts. Do they do more good than harm? Do the benefits outweigh the costs? For much of the 20th Century, the general conclusion was “No.” Seat belts, it was said, added significant costs to buses without adding substantially to physical safety, and even introduced new dangers in cases where students were wearing their seat belts incorrectly.

Creating a School Bus Maintenance Policy: Five Tips

One might say that there are three "pillars" of a safe and successful school bus transportation system. You need great drivers, as well as safety-minded riders. However, what can occasionally be overlooked is the importance of maintenance. A bus is only as reliable as its last maintenance check, and sometimes, it becomes easy for a district to skimp on school bus maintenance - particularly if budgets are becoming tight.

However, this isn't an area where corners can be cut! So in today's article, we want to talk about elements that should be in everyone's school bus maintenance plan.

Managing Increasingly Complex School Bus Systems

When a school district is growing, it can be difficult for their transportation system to keep up. Beyond the basic logistical challenge of procuring (or outsourcing) more buses and finding drivers for them, there will also be significant new back office challenges as well. Managing the buses, keeping them maintained, creating routes... these all become increasingly difficult as the size and complexity of the bus system grows.

Fortunately, companies developing school bus technology are well aware of these challenges! There are numerous products available which are capable of reducing the workload within large bus systems, and usually by streamlining operations to find cost savings.

Bus Driver Stops Diagonally To Prevent Stop Arm Violations

All school bus drivers, at some time or another, have been frustrated by motorists ignoring the stop arm and endangering students near the bus. Stop-arm violations are one of the single biggest dangers to students during a school day, and there's relatively little a bus driver can do to stop it. However, a driver in Sutton, Massachusetts, came up with a very creative solution - unfortunately, one that was also illegal.

Making Sense of School Bus Crash Statistics

"Is it safe?" Every parent asks this on a nearly daily basis, and understandably so. Parents need to be reassured that their child will be protected when out of their care, such as when riding the school bus. Since any school bus crash tends to make big headlines, that tends to make people worry about school bus safety.

However, in this case, there's no reason for parents to fear: School buses are incredibly safe. In fact, they are among the safest activities of any sort that a child could engage in, and certainly the safest way for a child to get to school. This is information that parents need to know, so we wanted to discuss the topic a bit in this article.

Are You Educating Parents On The Benefits Of Riding The School Bus?

Have you reminded your district's parents and guardians about why riding the school bus is important?

School buses have been part of American school life even before the invention of the motor engine, with the earliest "buses" being horse-drawn. It's easy for people to take them for granted. Unfortunately, sometimes this attitude is detrimental to districts - particularly if they need funds to upgrade their school bus fleet, and the community doesn't want to pitch in.

Is It Time To Upgrade The Radios In Your School Bus Fleet?

There has recently been a boom in technology designed for the school bus fleet, and that creates an interesting problem for district transportation managers. On one hand, you have so many new options for improving the safety and functionality of your fleet, but on the other, there are far too many new products to ever buy into them all.

School Bus Fleet: Are Low Rolling Resistance Tires A Good Choice?

Now, more than ever, school bus fleet managers are under pressure to find ways to lower the operating costs of their buses. Fuel costs are always a target, as they usually comprise one of the single largest line items in any bus fleet's budget. So, if a district could cut fuel use simply by changing tires, wouldn't that be a good thing?

Why Does It Matter How Kids Get to School?

One question a school district often hears from community members is, "Why does it matter how kids get to school?" From what we've seen, this seems especially common among people without children of their own, objecting to the idea of paying for school bus services with their tax dollars. Well, even aside from the legal requirement that districts provide transportation, the fact is that there are many reasons why riding the school bus matters.

School buses are by far the best way for children to go to and from school, for numerous reasons. If you ever find yourself in a position of defending your bus transportation system, here are some arguments to make.

Safe Fleet to Offer Perimeter Safety Solutions in 2019

There is no doubt that the most dangerous time for any student riding the bus is when they are getting on and off the bus. The entire perimeter around the bus has been dubbed the "danger zone" due to how exposed students are. So, one major focus of school bus safety initiatives has been to find ways to make that danger zone less dangerous.

Now, we may be a lot closer to that goal than ever before. One of the leading bus technology vendors, Safe Fleet, has announced a new series of products all aimed at protecting students near the bus's perimeter.

Nothing will make the danger zone 100% safe, but if Safe Fleet's new products live up to their sales pitch, they will substantially improve school bus safety.

Six Must-Haves for School Bus Routing

 

One of the most important aspects of being a school bus transportation coordinator is also one of the most difficult: school bus routing. Creating proper routes for the school buses is absolutely essential for the semester to run smoothly, but it takes a lot of work and preparation. Automated route-creation software can significantly reduce the workload, but you still need plenty of information for the routes to be effective.

Train Drivers To Connect With Special Needs Students On The School Bus

Are your bus drivers doing everything they can to look after any special needs students riding the school bus?

Of course, every student on a school bus deserves care and respect, but special needs students need a bit more care. It's vitally important that your drivers understand how to work with special needs students, and how to ensure their needs are taken care of. This helps the students directly, as well as decreasing the chances the student will cause problems on the bus ride.

How to Choose the Right School Bus Routing System

More and more districts are discovering the benefits of embracing a school bus routing system. The right software can radically optimize your routes, while requiring only a fraction of the time needed to create bus routes by hand. They can even offer ongoing benefits, like tracking critical data needed to further optimize your bus operations.

However, this new push for software-based routing solutions has also invited a lot of new software companies to the table - and not all your purchasing options are equal. As one of the first companies to produce a highly effective school bus routing system, BusBoss has some tips on what to look for.

Study Released on New York School Bus Delays

Managing buses and routes in any city can be a major challenge, but it's hard to even imagine the difficulties involved in planning school bus transportation in New York City. And there have been plenty of challenges! In the past year, parents across the five boroughs have been complaining about a high number of bus delays and other problems, to the point that the NY city council commissioned a study into the matter.

While interesting for those who follow transportation news, is there anything that other districts can learn from New York school bus delays and their causes? Let's take a look.

Four Major Benefits of Video Cameras On School Buses

It seems like school districts are now being continually bombarded with new ideas and technologies for improving school bus safety. With so much technical innovation happening across the transportation industry, it's inevitable that many of these new technologies would make their way onto buses. But, which ones are actually worth the money?

One easy answer to this question is also one of the most well-established technologies available: video cameras. Camera systems are affordable, and bring a lot of benefits with very few actual drawbacks. They're among the best all-around investments you can make into your school buses.

School Bus News: Student Rides Bus With Cannabis-Derived Medications

A genuinely unique case involving a student riding the school bus recently happened in California, and it could mean districts across the country will have to re-evaluate some of their policies.

Holiday Time: 4 Ways to Show Appreciation for School Bus Drivers

All too often, being a bus driver can feel like a thankless job. School bus drivers have to work genuinely inconvenient hours, and spend most of their time on the job getting yelled at by their passengers, district parents, or both. Not to mention the stress of being directly responsible for the lives of dozens of children every day!

It's easy for drivers to feel unappreciated, or even burn out and leave the job entirely. Often, however, all it takes is some small gestures to help them feel acknowledged and appreciated. The holidays are a perfect time for this, so let's look at some ways of improving your drivers' morale.

School Bus Routing: From Hard Copy to Digital

If a school district were looking for a single piece of software which would do the most to streamline its operations and potentially cut costs, school bus routing software is easily one of the best options. It's an affordable all-in-one package that will take a lot of burdens off your shoulders, while creating better maps that will almost certainly save you money on every bus route going forward.

Here are just a few ways that school bus routing software pays for itself.

School Bus Video Aids Accused Driver

On Tuesday, September 4, 2018, the West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, police department received a disturbing complaint. Two middle school girls were alleging that their school bus driver had committed "inappropriate actions" towards them, which were implied to be sexual in nature. Normally, an accusation of this nature - by itself - is enough to ruin careers, but the driver had the truth on their side: truth backed up by school bus video!

West Virginia Requires Supervision at School Bus Stops

 

Various states are always trying new experiments in how to improve school bus safety, but a recent initiative in West Virginia has been raising eyebrows. According to their new Policy 4336 (PDF), all children in grades K-3 must be "supervised" at bus stops for both pickup in the morning and drop-off in the afternoon.

School Bus Transportation: Back-to-School Safety Checklist

It's back-to-school time, and that means preparing students for their new year at school. There's a lot of information to convey - all of it important - but very little is more important than ensuring safe usage of your school bus transportation system. Any student who uses the bus needs to be prepared to board, ride, and disembark safely.

We've put together a quick list hitting the most vital elements that any bus rider should know before they start their daily trips on your bus.

Five Tips for Ensuring School Bus Passenger Safety

As we start the new school year, one of the most important issues on the mind of every transportation director should be school bus safety. Even though school buses are already by far the safest vehicles on the road, they can always be made safer.

We've made a list of suggestions, ranging from the simple to the more complicated, that a district might consider implementing in the name of bus safety.

Best Practices for School Bus Security and Surveillance

For many districts, onboard video camera systems represent an excellent solution to many school bus security issues. With video cameras, you can keep a close eye on the behavior of students and drivers, while always having footage available if there are disputes between drivers, students, and\or parents.

That said, video cameras can create problems of their own, particularly if students or parents are concerned about privacy. Having a clear policy outlining best practices for use of the cameras will go a long way towards preventing these problems!

Can New Diesel Engines Improve School Bus Health and ROI?

 

It wasn't long ago that "diesel" was a dirty word when talking about fuels. However, diesel has come a long way since then. Modern diesel engines, backed by technologies to clean the fuel and prevent harmful emissions, are making a major comeback in many areas, including school bus engines. Proponents say there's no reason to embrace more experimental technologies, like propane or CNG, when diesel is already widely available.

Are School Bus Industry Trade Shows Worth It?

 As a school district transportation manager you always have a lot on your plate, but that shouldn't stop you from taking time for personal development and networking. There are several major school bus trade shows around the country every year, and they are genuinely excellent opportunities to meet, greet, and learn.

If you haven't gone to any trade shows recently, here are a few reasons to think about attending at least one in the 2018-19 school year.

Better School Bus Routing Becomes Easy With Software

 

There are many difficult jobs associated with being the transportation director of a school district, but perhaps none are as difficult - in terms of labor - than laying out school bus routes. Doing school bus routing by hand is a time-consuming and tedious process, and one which is almost impossible for a person to optimize well. Worse, significant migration in or out of the school during the course of the year might mean having to recreate the bus routes multiple times.

School Bus Safety: Are Lights Enough?

Recently, we came across an interesting School Bus Fleet article about a petition proposing a change to school bus lighting systems that, according to the petitioner, would improve school bus safety. It's far from the first time such an idea was proposed. The problem of cars either ignoring or not seeing school bus warning lights consistently creates dangerous situations for student riders.

How Safe Is Student Bus Transportation?

Student bus transportation safety is an all-important topic, and one which tends to become controversial whenever there's any sort of incident involving a bus accident. The tendency of the media to blow up any accident can often overshadow how incredibly safe school buses really are. Parents and other concerned people in your district should have plenty of information available, helping them understand that American school buses truly are among the safest forms of transportation anywhere in the world.

Reducing School Bus Transportation Technology Complexity: Four Tips

When adopting new technology in your school bus transportation processes, there's always the promise that it will help simplify your administrative life and streamline operations. In many cases, this is true. However, problems can arise when a district adopts too much new technology, too quickly. When a desire for new solutions becomes too prominent, the technology can simply become a new kind of complexity - creating as many problems as it solves.

What You Need To Know About the Ohio School Bus Lap/Shoulder Belts Bill

For decades, one of the most controversial subjects involving school bus safety was the matter of seat belts: Should school bus seat belts be mandated?

The debate has been reignited this summer with the introduction of Ohio House Bill 680 on May 22, 2018. In response to a recent tragic crash which killed a student and teacher, the bill would require all buses purchased after June 1, 2019, to come with lap/shoulder belts on all passenger seats, as well as mandating an aggressive upgrade policy for existing buses.

New York School Buses Bring Hybrids Back

For the past decade, many school districts have shown increasing interest in switching to alternative fuel systems. On paper, the benefits are clear: they’d see lower fuel prices and easier maintenance while also reducing the harm their fleet does to the environment. Unfortunately, these projects often seem to fall short.

School Bus Drivers: Tornado Preparedness

 

5 School Bus Trends for the 2018-2019 School Year

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.

School Bus Maintenance: Considering Emissions

If you are investigating the possibility of upgrading your bus fleet to use alternative fuel systems, you have a lot of choices. Green fuels can potentially lower the emissions of your school buses, which in turn can reduce school bus maintenance costs; but that depends on which emissions they reduce. Often, buyers focus solely on NOx (nitrogen oxide) but there’s more to the story than that.

Avoiding Disaster in the School Bus Danger Zone

 One of the cornerstones of a proper school bus safety training program is an emphasis on the "Danger Zone." That is, the area immediately surrounding the school bus where children could be in danger of being hit by other cars - or the bus itself - and are potentially hidden by the bus's blind spots. Drivers must understand the threat represented by the Danger Zone, and be thoroughly trained on how to minimize the actual danger to their students.

Will Self-Driving School Buses Ever Be Practical?

It's impossible to follow technology news without hearing the words "self-driving" on an almost daily basis. Both vehicle and technology groups around the world are racing to have the first street-ready autonomous vehicles in every field of motoring imaginable.

Preparing Children to Ride the School Bus

Will your incoming 2018-19 students be ready for their first bus rides? Summer is the perfect time to help parents prepare their children!

There's probably no more challenging time for a school bus transportation director than the first week of classes. Students are having to learn their buses and bus schedules, plus many of the younger ones may have never ridden a bus alone. That first week can go a lot more smoothly if the students are prepared in advance.

School Bus Loading and Unloading: Improving Safety In The Danger Zone

Few aspects of school bus loading and unloading are more dangerous than the appropriately-named “danger zone.” The danger zone includes areas near the bus where a student cannot be directly seen by the bus driver, and where incidents involving other vehicles are most likely to occur. The danger zone can be considered to be a rectangle stretching 10 feet from the bus in any direction, with the most dangerous areas being the immediate front of the bus as well as anywhere within arm’s reach of the back half of the bus.

Making the Case for Student Transportation Technology

There are more ways to use technology to upgrade your student transportation services than ever before, and they can provide great ROI in terms of efficiency or other cost-savings. However, most technology upgrades still require an up-front investment, and that can be a hard sell if your school district is already facing budget issues.

Student Bus Transportation: Considering Bell Times

 It’s well known that student bus transportation costs are a huge part of a school district’s budget and a truly unavoidable expense. It’s only natural for school districts to look for ways to minimize the costs. Now, some districts are beginning to design their bell times largely around their transportation needs, but bell times impact every aspect of a district. Any major change will cause ripples across the entire city. Even if changing bell times would allow a district to cut thousands – or millions – of dollars from their transportation budget, is it worth the disruption?

School Bus Drivers: Protecting Disabled Students From Bullying

Bullying is a hot topic at the moment, with many seeing the proliferation of bullying as one of the biggest problems in modern school districts. Administrators are under pressure to cut down on bullying and, in particular, shield disabled students from attacks which they often cannot defend themselves.

Transportation Management: Tips for Managing Your School Bus Fleet

Overcoming the Challenges of School Bus Fleet Management

Top Tech for Student Bus Transportation

We're living in an age of nonstop technological progress and innovation in all areas of life, and that includes student bus transportation. New school bus technologies are arriving every year, and while not all will become widely adopted, each offers new opportunities for districts to improve student safety or energy efficiency, or simply cut costs.

Looking at Four Choices in School Bus Fuels

Is your district starting to think about alternative school bus fuels? They’re becoming more common, and an increasing number of major bus manufacturers are pushing their alt-fuel designs. Plus, states such as Texas are now beginning to offer rebates and other incentives for buses that move away from diesel and towards other options.

School Bus Safety: Making Loading and Unloading Safer

It’s generally agreed that loading and unloading are the most dangerous times for a child riding a school bus. In fact, the loading and unloading area is even occasionally referred to “the danger zone” because of how many problems could potentially occur. The students are beyond the driver’s direct control and exposed to traffic and other hazards.

Four Ways to Communicate School Bus Route Changes

 When it comes to drawing up bus routes, most districts try to do it at the beginning of the school year and stick with it. Sometimes that’s just not possible, and circumstances beyond their control dictate that routes may have to be re-planned during the school year. This brings up a big problem – how to inform parents of school bus route changes and ensure every child still gets on the right bus home.

Texas Pushes Alternative School Bus Fuels: The Clean School Bus Program

 The topic of school bus fuels and the environmental harm done by bus fleets is being treated with increasing concern. With the majority of school buses on the road still being powered by diesel engines, they’re responsible for a lot of pollution. Many districts would like to explore alternative school bus fuels, but the expenses involved can be daunting.

Extra Red Lights to Reduce Illegal School Bus Passing

Without a doubt, one of the biggest threats to the safety of students riding school buses is other drivers. Illegal school bus passing is a huge problem nationwide. Ongoing studies in recent years have suggested that it happens tens of thousands of times every day and each school-bus passing has the possibility of causing accidents or injuries.

School Bus Safety News: California May Delay Child Reminder Alarms

 One morning in 2015 a nonverbal, autistic high school student named Paul Lee was left behind on his Whittier, CA, school bus. Eight hours later, in temperatures approaching 100 degrees, he was dead – not discovered until it was time for the bus’s afternoon route. It was a genuine tragedy, one which highlighted how important it was to always guarantee no students were forgotten on school buses.

New RE Series School Bus in Production Offers Improvements In Performance And Safety

The RE Series school buses from IC Bus are already a popular solution for student bus transportation, but they’re about to get significantly better. IC Bus has just announced their newest Type D buses, already going into general production, and they offer some substantial improvements over previous IC offerings. In particular, we’re impressed by the range of safety features being integrated into these buses.

So let’s take a look at what might be your district’s next vehicle investment!

New York May Levy Steeper Stop-Arm Fines - But Is That The Right Approach?

 When drivers endanger school bus riders thousands of times every day by ignoring stop-arm signals, it’s clearly a problem that needs solving. But how?

One of the more common solutions being adopted is the use of stop-arm cameras, which work in roughly the same fashion as traffic light cameras. The camera attempts to capture the license plate of anyone speeding by a stopped bus, and the resulting stop-arm fines are mailed to the offending driver’s address on record.

Using Bonuses to Attract School Bus Drivers: 5 Tips

The current school bus driver shortage shows no signs of abating. In fact, if more states follow Tennessee's lead and start imposing stricter requirements on school bus drivers, that could actually make the recruitment-and-retention problem worse. It's a difficult situation with no easy answers since, of course, no district wants to hire unqualified drivers... but sometimes it's hard to find any drivers at all.

Fixing Holes in School Bus Safety

Staying on top of school bus safety is a never-ending challenge for any district transportation coordinator. There are plenty of ways that a school bus and its routes can be made safer, and never quite enough time to address them all. Undoubtedly, any bus safety plan has some "holes" in it, or areas which aren't as secure as one might like.

This will vary substantially from district to district, but there are still some common holes we see in our own consulting work. Let's talk about some of them.

Training School Bus Drivers for City Driving: Five Tips

As difficult and frustrating as city driving can be in an automobile, the problems are multiplied when driving a school bus. Buses can be up to 45 feet long, which makes maneuvering them around city corners a real challenge. Plus, with a full load of passengers on board, it’s easy for school bus drivers to become stressed out, which can diminish their effectiveness in an emergency.

The challenges your drivers face are going to be largely particular to your city. However, with proper training, there are certain strategies which will help mitigate the chances of problems while on city streets.

More Stringent Requirements for TN School Bus Drivers

On November 21, 2016, a true tragedy occurred in Tennessee. A 24-year-old school bus driver with a history of speeding was involved in a school bus crash that killed six students and injured over a dozen more. In response, the state of Tennessee enacted House Bill 322 regulating school transportation systems and school bus drivers, which are now among the most strict in the nation.

Many applaud the new laws; others fear they go too far. Let’s take a look.

Intelligent School Bus Seating - The Future Of School Bus Safety?

 In a perfect world, cost wouldn't be an issue when it comes to school bus safety. School buses would be outfitted with the latest in safety features to ensure the highest possible rates of safety and accident survivability. Unfortunately, that’s not the reality. Most districts strike a balance between having high levels of safety without having excessive costs with a lot of debates over how to achieve that balance.

School bus seating is often at the center of this discussion. How do we make school bus seats safer? Are seat belts actually effective or worth the cost? People have been going back and forth on that for decades. However, new technologies could substantially change the debate.

School Bus Safety: Solving the Stranded-Student Problem

 If you follow school bus safety news at all, it’s hard to avoid headlines about students being accidentally left behind on buses. It happens several times a year, at a minimum, and always causes concern. Sometimes the police are involved. Sometimes, careers are ruined for that one mistake alone.

School Bus Tracking Can Bring Peace of Mind to Parents

Everyone says, “Think of the children!” when it comes to school bus tracking, but perhaps we should be saying, “Think of the parents!” instead. Discussions about bus tracking tend to revolve around the many safety benefits that tracking brings to students, or the various ways tracking can improve and streamline district operations. However, one aspect is often overlooked: the benefits that bus tracking systems can bring to parents.

These can be particularly helpful to know, if you’re in a position of arguing in favor of embracing tracking systems in your district. When you’re standing in front of the school board or PTA, being able to talk about how tracking systems will benefit them directly is going to help your case!

Ramping Up Accessibility With Low-Floor School Buses

School bus accessibility is a major concern among school districts who find themselves with one or more mobility-impaired students. Legally, in nearly all cases, they are required to provide necessary accommodations for riding the bus. But, those accommodations can be extremely expensive to implement, particularly if a wheelchair lift needs to be installed.

Worse, once that student moves or graduates, it could be years before the lift is ever used again, making it a massive sunk cost with no foreseeable returns.

GPS Trackers Versus Bluetooth Trackers: The Major Differences

 There’s a lot of new high-tech devices being used in schools, and it’s easy to get confused about what they do, particularly when they seem to be similar products. So it’s not surprising that we get a lot of questions about GPS trackers versus Bluetooth trackers and what sets them apart.

In fact, pretty much the only thing the two technologies have in common is that they’re radio-based tracking devices. Otherwise, they have very different purposes and goals. Let’s explain:

New Federal Mandates for Entry-Level School Bus Driver Training

 Big changes to how entry-level school bus driver training is handled are coming, with new hurdles that new drivers have to clear before getting their license. These changes are coming from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a part of the Department of Transportation, and have been in the works for a number of years. Originally, these rule changes were to have gone into effect already, but several legal challenges to them delayed implementation. In November 2017, it finally became official: New bus drivers will have higher standards in 2020 and beyond.

Electric School Buses Coming In 2019 - Time To Think About Upgrading?

 An electric school bus is one of those ideas that often seems to sound better on paper than it is in practice. Everyone knows that fossil fuels won't last forever, and they’re bad for the environment. But the costs of moving to electric, and the significant drawbacks of the technology, cause a lot of districts to stick to what they know. Some have even opined that it's just not possible to create an all-electric bus with sufficient range and power to compete with traditional engine technologies.

However, that may soon change. Two major manufacturers, IC Bus and Daimler have recently announced their intention to create all-electric school buses which are fully capable of performing the job. These buses were announced November 2017, and are currently targeted for 2019 release.

4 Tips for School Bus Driver Evacuation Training

 No one likes to contemplate the idea of a school bus being involved in a major accident, such as one which leads to it flipping or rolling. But, the reality is that such accidents are always a possibility. Even the best-trained school bus driver can be undone by circumstances beyond their control.

So, bus evacuation is an aspect of bus safety training that simply can't be ignored. The school bus driver and the students need the best possible chance of escaping a bus, even under crisis conditions.

What Should a School Bus GPS Parent App Include?

More and more districts are starting to adopt GPS tracking systems in their buses, to help them track and optimize their fleets. However, GPS systems can have another big benefit. When paired with the right school bus GPS parent app, it can make life easier for parents while drastically cutting down on "where is my kid?" calls to the main office.

The two go together hand-in-hand, if you're using the right app. There are a lot of options on the market, so here are some of the most important features to look for.

Safe Kids Worldwide Promotes Stop-Arm Camera Advocacy

It’s a situation bus drivers have seen countless times: They bring the bus to a stop, extend the stop-arm, begin to let students disembark – only to see a car behind them ignore the stop sign and speed past. Every time this happens, children are endangered, and estimates are that it happens millions of times a year in America.

There’s one tactic which has shown promise in cutting down on this trend: stop-arm cameras. Much like stoplight cameras, these can capture the details of cars which disregard the bus’s stop sign, sending automated tickets to violators. Tests performed in districts with stop-arm cameras have suggested it can decrease violations by 15% in only a single year.

School Bus Drivers: 4 Bright Recruiting Ideas

Districts everywhere are suffering from a lack of school bus drivers, and the shortage shows no signs of going away. If you’re going to get the drivers you need, you often have to be more clever than other recruiters.

In previous blogs, we’ve covered many of the most obvious solutions to the problem, such as higher wages, better benefits, or more opportunities within the district. Today, let’s get a little more creative. Not all of these ideas may apply to your district, but perhaps they'll give you some ideas.

School Bus Safety: 5 Important Factors When Securing Wheel Chairs

Has your district recently reviewed their policies for dealing with wheelchair-bound students on school buses? Ever since the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1976, schools have been required to make accommodations for children in wheelchairs, including bus accessibility. Dealing with wheelchair-bound students creates unique school bus safety issues, and it's vital to do everything possible to keep them safe.

In today's blog, we wanted to touch on key aspects and best practices when working with your mobility-impaired students. If you haven't checked to ensure you're up-to-date on wheelchair policies, it's a perfect time to do so.

Student Bus Transportation: Four Goals for 2018

 Just as with every other aspect of your district, it’s important to have goals for your student bus transportation in the coming year. Some of these may simply be along the lines of “stay within all relevant regulations,” but some might be a bit more ambitious – areas – you’re hoping to improve, investments you want to make, or new initiatives you’d like to launch.

If you haven't decided on all your goals for 2018 yet, here are a few ideas...

The Future of School Bus Driver Safety: Four Things To Look Forward To

 Vehicle technology is advancing at an incredible pace these days, probably the fastest since the early days of automobiles. The convergence of tech fields such as cloud computing, vehicle tracking, high-resolution optics, and artificial intelligence is causing a renaissance in vehicle safety features!

It’s already common for new features and safety initiatives from the trucking industry to become part of school bus driver safety as well. However, it does tend to take some time, since tech has to be very proven – and more affordable – before school districts will invest. It’s not hard to look into the future and see what may be available 5-10 years down the line.

School Bus Fleet Department Overhaul: Five Areas To Consider

School transportation budgets are often tight, and that can make proper school bus fleet development a real challenge. It becomes easy – perhaps unavoidable – to look at fleet development in terms of small ad-hoc changes as budget allows, without much planning for the future.

Of course, those tactics can also backfire over time, particularly if they are holding your district back from realizing much better solutions that would be safer, easier, or more cost-effective. Sometimes, a more major overhaul is needed for long-run improvements.

New Device Could Detect Students Left on School Buses

 It seems like a problem which should be preventable, yet it still happens with some regularity: children being forgotten and left behind on school buses. Proper school bus safety procedures mandate the driver always check for overlooked riders, but mistakes happen or perhaps the child hides in such a way he or she isn't easily seen, such as underneath a seat.

Student School Bus Safety Programs: 4 Options

How much does your district spend on school bus safety training? If yours is a typical district, it's probably not much. Yet, over and over, districts which have implemented more robust programs have found that bus safety training can significantly reduce on-road incidents, making the drive safer for everyone on the bus.

If you currently don't have much in the way of bus safety training, here are some ideas we've seen in action which might provide effective ways of increasing safety.

Should School Bus Drivers Get Diversity Training?

While it's true that bus driver training is already a fairly lengthy process, more school districts are starting to add another element to their curriculum: diversity training. Providing diversity training to your school bus drivers can help them fit in better among your other district employees, as well as reduce the chances of unfortunate misunderstandings during their interactions with students or parents.

Providing such training to bus drivers is far from universal, but it could be well worth the slight addition to your training program.

8 Facts About the EPA's School Bus Rebate Program

The EPA receives a grant of approximately $7,000,000 which will be used in a school bus rebate program, encouraging districts to upgrade older diesel buses. These buses contribute huge amounts of CO2 and NOX to the atmosphere, so it's in everyone's interests to get them off the road or to replace their engines with newer models.

If your district is considering bus upgrades, but don't quite have the money, this could be a major opportunity. The submission period for 2017 has passed, but it's time to act if you want to have a chance of getting some of those rebate funds for the 2018-2019 school year.

School Bus Safety: Identifying High-Risk Drivers

Many challenges face school district transportation managers when it comes to the current bus driver shortage, but one of the biggest issues is keeping driver quality high. Even when good drivers are hard to find, that can never justify hiring a bad driver or one who may compromise school bus safety. Likewise, if a bus driver shows themselves to be high-risk while on the road, they need immediate retraining - or termination - no matter the costs involved.

4 Benefits of RFID Student Ridership Tracking Systems

Technology is making lives easier in just about every way, and school districts are now harnessing the power of these advancements to keep students safe. RFID student ridership tracking has now been implemented in school buses around the country, and these systems are not only improving transportation department safety records, they are also saving them money. Students are issued a unique ID which is scanned when they enter and exit the bus, which is also tracked via GPS. Here are four benefits of RFID student ridership tracking systems.

Can Technology Improve the School Bus Driver Experience?

The iconic school bus is a familiar site during the fall months. Driving this vehicle is still a major responsibility, but advances in transportation technology have done their part to improve the school bus driver experience and make the daily ride safer for students. Here are just some of the tools that are transforming the way the school bus operates.

STN Expo: Perspectives on Driver Training

Though riding a school bus remains one of the safest forms of transportation available, an increased emphasis on school bus driver training across the country aims to increase student safety for those with special needs. At the most recent STN EXPO, three different perspectives on this topic were shared, demonstrating that focus on student safety requires consideration of the needs of students, school bus drivers, student attendants and transportation directors.

Fleet Management Software and School Bus Preventative Maintenance

Technology is rapidly changing the way that school districts manage their transportation departments. Along with solutions like bus routing and tracking software programs, many professionals are relying on fleet management software to keep on top of their preventative maintenance. For some districts, preventative maintenance is a monumental task that takes constant attention, but with the help of the right software program, transportation officials can track inventory and better document the efforts of their maintenance staff.

Five Reasons School Bus Drivers Quit

The current shortage of school bus drivers is really a twofold problem. Part of the problem is recruitment, but the other part is in retention. School bus drivers have a turnover rate that's significantly higher than average - particularly when it comes to retaining drivers over the summer.

Student Tracking: Improving Safety on and off the School Bus

Is it time to consider student tracking systems? For an increasing number of school districts, the answer is yes. Student tracking, such as through RFID systems, offers many distinct benefits in terms of both safety and streamlined administration, with relatively few drawbacks.

How Effective Are School Bus Tracking Systems?

School bus tracking systems are gaining in popularity, but how effective are they? Over the last several years, transportation technology has developed by leaps and bounds, so it can be difficult for school districts to sift through the options and determine which programs can really make a difference. Budget constraints are the norm in most communities, so determining what the positive impact of school bus tracking software will be is usually a must.

Are Drivers Solely Responsible for School Bus Safety?

One of the biggest mistakes we occasionally see people make in regards to bus driving is believing that school bus safety begins and ends on the school bus itself. It's understandable how someone might take a reductive view on the matter since, after all, the driver is the one at the steering wheel.

4 Myths About School Bus Tracking

School bus tracking systems that utilize GPS technology have been around for a while, but there is still some controversy surrounding their use. Though the same types of systems are commonplace in privately owned cars, taxis, and public transportation vehicles, there are still some misconceptions about school bus tracking. Here we will discuss four well-known myths.

Being a School Bus Driver Isn’t As Easy as You Think

School districts across the country are struggling to fill vital school bus driver positions. There’s a reason that great school bus drivers are difficult to find and keep: driving a school bus requires more than just driving skill and patience. The job requires a unique skill set, and it’s not as easy as you’d think.

Who Reaps the Benefits of GPS Student Tracking?

School districts all across the country are implementing GPS Student Tracking programs. The reasons for implementing GPS technology vary, and it can be confusing to know who benefits most from it. However, there are distinct reasons why school districts, parents, and students benefit.

School Bus Fleet Management: Using Technology to Manage Risks

Taking preventative measures to reduce risks when routing children is especially important in all sectors. Managing risk is an important component of school bus fleet management and technology is helping to ease the burdens that transportation officials face.

Scope of RFID School Bus Tracking Systems in Security Measures

Radio frequency identification, also known as RFID, is a state-of-the-art technology that is used for many purposes, including keeping students safe. A student’s unique information is stored on a chip within a special ID card. This chip transmits identification information to a special transponder when a child gets on or off a bus. Digital information is forwarded to school district computers so that officials can track the whereabouts of each student.

Driver Training: Avoiding Driver Behavior That Causes Accidents

Nothing is more important for school bus driver training than encouraging them to drive safely. With dozens of young lives at stake on every drive, this is inarguably the #1 priority for any school district. Unfortunately, not every driver training program emphasizes safety. Instead, the focus is on the basics of bus operation.

3 Reasons GPS Student Tracking Is So Popular

There’s no denying that advanced technology is a part of the daily lives of most Americans. School district staff and parents expect to locate students quickly when an issue arises, and they expect transportation departments to have access to the technology that makes this possible. There are many reasons why GPS student tracking systems are so popular. Here are just three of them:

3 Benefits of Wi-Fi on School Buses

What was once the stuff of science fiction, are now a way of life. The Internet is everywhere, even on school buses! One district in California made the bold decision to make Wi-Fi available to its student population and the concept is quickly catching on. This may seem like just a luxury, but there are actually some solid reasons why school districts are offering Wi-Fi on school buses. Here are three key benefits:

What Are School Bus Drivers Looking For In Their Jobs?

There are a lot of factors behind the current shortage of school bus drivers. One of the biggest reasons is that school bus driving can be seen as an unattractive career choice. There are many common problems and complaints about school bus driving which can prevent otherwise qualified people from pursuing it. A school district should look to mitigate these factors and offer school bus drivers what they want from their jobs. This will go a long way towards ensuring their routes remain fully staffed.

Trends in Transporting Special Needs Children

There are many challenges involved in running and managing a school transportation system, but the issue of transporting special needs children is its own special category. Because schools are generally obligated to provide services and work around the needs of the children, it can create extremely unique challenges for each district.

Roadblocks to Driver Recruitment and Retention

The school bus driver shortage isn't getting any better. In recent nationwide surveys of school districts, nearly all reported difficulty in maintaining driver staffing levels and roughly 30 percent described their shortage as "severe or desperate." Many schools are beginning to have to take truly drastic action, even cutting services, due to their problems with driver recruitment and driver retention.

School Bus Technology Trends to Watch

For trend-watchers, these are exciting times for school bus technology. Unlike many other fields where tech trends are pushed by frivolous consumer whims, technology for school buses is inherently practical.

BusBoss stays up-to-date with the technology trends. Check Our Products for the newest student routing and scheduling technologies.

The top priorities for district transportation systems include lower costs, easier administration, and safer rides. These are the areas modern school bus technology tries to target.  

School Bus Fleet Management: Pros and Cons of Alt-Fuels

Alternative fuels such as propane or compressed natural gas (CNG) are a hot topic within the transportation industry, including those involved in school bus fleet management. Everyone knows we have a limited supply of petroleum on the planet and that regular and diesel gasoline are harmful to the environment.

Five Trends in School Bus Driver Retention

The current school bus driver shortage means that holding onto your existing drivers is of paramount importance. If you lose a good driver, it could be months - or more - until you find a suitable replacement. Unfortunately, due to the pressures and problems with school bus driving as a career, most districts are seeing higher-than-normal levels of driver turnover.

5 Great Tips for Informing and Engaging Parents on Transportation Issues

Parents need to know what is happening with their children once they leave their home and are in the custody of their district.  Here are just a few things you can do to ease their concerns.

1. Have multiple forms of contact

Don't rely solely on telephone, email or the postal service for parent notifications. You can’t know which method a parent prefers or checks most often. The more ways you have to communicate with parents, the more likely it is your message will get through.

Fifteen Ways School Administrators Can Support School Bus Drivers

Given how badly the school bus driver shortage is affecting school districts around the country, it's absolutely vital that school transportation directors and administrations do whatever they can to retain the drivers on their payroll. In many areas, this can even be a case where unusual or drastic action is needed because of how hard drivers can be to replace.

Propane-Powered School Buses Lower the Cost of Student Transportation

School districts across North America are switching to alternative fuel sources for their bus fleets, and for good reason. Propane helps to reduce the costs of school bus transportation while also helping to reduce emissions.

New Standards for Greenhouse Gas, Fuel Efficiency

New standards for medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, which includes school buses, were designed to improve fuel efficiency and decrease pollution. Both the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued these standards that were called for by the President’s Climate Action Plan.

Student Tracking Software Aids Medicaid Reimbursement

Depending on the state where your school district is located, you may be receiving Medicaid reimbursement dollars for the transportation of special needs students. As with any reporting for government funding, the process of collecting and communicating this transportation data can be complex. Fortunately, student transportation software is helping transportation departments to create thorough and accurate reports.

School Bus Seat Belts: How Costs Factor Into the Debate

The debate over the installation of seatbelts in school buses isn’t likely to end soon. Many states now require, or have introduced legislation to require, seatbelts on vehicles that transport students. While it’s easy to assume that installing seatbelts would be the solution to ensuring school bus safety, the issue is rather complex, with compelling arguments made on both sides.

One of the main arguments against the installation of seatbelts is that buses are considered extremely safe. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that an average of six students die in school bus crashes each year, compared to the 42,000 people killed in other types of traffic accidents.

School Bus Transportation: Reducing Carbon Footprints

School districts across North America are seeking out ways to reduce their carbon footprint, and transportation departments are playing a major role in this process. Of course, switching to propane or other cleaner fuels to power school buses is one way to make a positive impact. Some districts are even experimenting with electric buses and solar-powered equipment. There are also several additional ways that transportation departments are keeping things clean on the roadways.

Should School Bus Routes Look at Avoiding Left Turns?

There are things we do in BusBoss to minimize left turns, but we do not prevent them.  Specifically, in the routing algorithm, we assign a "value" for navigating an intersection.  It's not exactly like this, but it's close enough for discussion purposes.

South Carolina District Gets Tough on School Bus Riders

A Policy Overhaul

Keeping students safe from accidents and violent behavior in the classroom is naturally a top priority for school districts across the country. Student safety is just as important during the trip to and from school, where small distractions can lead to devastating consequences. As Beaufort County School District prepares for its first year of managing its own school bus fleet, they’ve incorporated stricter consequences for students who don’t follow the rules.

Routing Software Keeps Drivers Updated

With challenges such as students moving in and out of the school district and moving to new homes within the district, school bus drivers need to stay informed about where to pick up the children they are driving to school.

When student bus stops change, web access portals are able to assist school bus drivers. Route optimization software allows drivers to receive daily updates on their computers before they leave to drive their school bus routes in the morning.

According to a great deal of the schools we deal with, one of their most pressing reasons for switching to school bus routing software is to ensure their drivers are kept up to date. Modern bus route software can be leveraged to bring time savings to virtually any district, and enhanced routing reports for their school bus drivers.

Nebraska Legislator Tries for School Bus Seat Belts

Though national safety groups, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, are now advocating for the installation of seatbelts on buses, most states do not require this feature. Nebraska State Senator Robert Hilkemann would like to add his state to the list of those who have a school bus seatbelt law on the books.

School Bus Safety: Safeguarding Wheelchair-Bound Students

Ensuring the safety of wheelchair-bound students can be a challenge. School bus safety has come a long way in the last several years. Specific regulations now include safety provisions for all students, regardless of their ability.

National Safety Council Joins the Appeal for School Bus Seat Belts

In 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced its endorsement of seat belts on school buses. The National Safety Council (NSC) now shares this view and has made its endorsement of seat belts on school buses public.

New Heavy-Duty Electric Drivetrain Designed for School Buses

Options in gasoline alternatives for student bus transportation continue to expand. As we've talked about before, both propane and natural-gas engines are becoming more popular with school districts, thanks to their lower ongoing costs and better emissions. However, both of those are still derived from fossil fuels, and aren't a "magic bullet" solution to alternative-power issues.

Missouri School District Gets 110 Type C CNG School Buses

Use of alternative-fuel school buses continues to expand around the country, and represents a promising shift away from unsustainable (and polluting) oil-based fuels. Today's news comes out of North Kansas City School District (NKCSD), in Missouri, which has recently made an unprecedented purchase of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)-powered buses.

Testing Lap-Shoulder Belts for Iowa Student Transportation

It's one of the most common pieces of common knowledge regarding school bus safety: Buses don't need seat belts because they're already so safe that belts simply aren't necessary, so there's no point installing them.

But is that about to change?

Students With Disabilities: Improving School Bus Fire Safety

Millions of students ride school buses each day, and they are considered to be one of the safest forms of transportation. Unfortunately, emergencies do happen and it’s important for drivers to be prepared, especially when they transport students with disabilities.

Student Transportation Software: Costs Versus Benefits

School districts across the country are struggling to determine how to best utilize the limited number of dollars that are available to them. As these districts face sharp increases in expenses, revenue is decreasing, forcing them to be tight with resources in order to keep budgets balanced.

For some districts, this means cutting necessary services including student transportation. Along with reducing transportation for field trips and extracurricular programs, many districts are reducing the number of buses in their fleets and drivers on their payrolls. So what solutions are available to districts feeling the crunch?

Student Tracking Software: Sharing School Bus Delays Via Social Media

With a combination of GPS-based school bus tracking systems and RFID-based student tracking software, it's far more difficult for a school system to ever lose track of a student. When you know exactly which students are on each bus, and you know exactly where each bus is, there's never any guesswork involved.This automatically brings numerous benefits to administrators and transportation directors, who can do their jobs with far more efficiency. However, it can also be a major help to parents, as well as to any staff who might interact with them, should anything happen to delay the bus that their students are on.

With good student tracking software, it's not even necessary to wait for parents to call wondering where their children are. A district can be pro-active, and put the information out there in a central location which virtually any parent will check: social media.

School Bus Safety: Illegal Passing Exceeds 30K in New York

Illegal passing is an enormous school bus safety concern around the country. One recent New York study shed some light on the problem and just how vast it’s become. According to the report, tens of thousands of vehicles pass stopped buses each and every day.

School Bus Maintenance: An Analysis of Costs

School buses transport millions of students each day to and from schools and special activities. During an average school year, around 10 billion student trips are made. Buses come in many designs and capacities and different districts have varying requirements regarding the age that each bus should be in service. Both of these factors, along with the size of your fleet, influence the total cost of school bus maintenance for your district.

Pennsylvania School District Saves With Propane-Fueled School Buses

More school districts are discovering that propane could be one of the big keys to cutting school bus transportation costs. In fact, according to a 2014 Department of Energy study, "Propane buses are now mainstream, and represent the nation’s fastest growing transportation fuel." Many states now have hundreds of propane-powered buses in their fleets, including Arizona, Texas, California, Nebraska, Oregon, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Northeast Ohio Hosts Safety-in Service School Bus Program

Every year, school buses across Ohio transport more than a million students to and from school. School bus safety is a top concern and a recent training hosted by Austintown schools focused on ways that drivers and administrators can keep students safe.

New Jersey to Require Motion Sensors on School Buses

Earlier this year, the New Jersey Governor signed a law that requires all new school buses to be equipped with motion sensors. These sensors will detect people or objects that are in the blind spots in front of or behind the bus. Legislators and safety experts hope that this will prevent tragedies involving small children near school buses.

Michigan Student Bus Transportation: End of Route Student Checks

Michigan, as well as many other states, encourage their school districts to embrace robust end of route student checks within their student bus transportation systems. After all, many school districts have horror stories about students being left on the bus at the end of the day, such as if a student has fallen asleep in a seat and missed their stop.

California School Bus Idling Rules and Regulations

Student safety is a major concern across the country, and in California, specific measures have been taken to improve air quality so that all residents breathe easier. Student bus transportation programs are required to do their part by following certain rules and regulations regarding idling.

4 Ways to Decrease Costs With Fuel Management

With school district finances being stretched to the max, administrators are being asked to find innovative solutions for saving money to avoid cutting programs. School District transportation departments are often called upon to minimize their budgets and seek out new ways to save money on transportation costs. Focusing on fuel management is one way to cut costs. Here are 5 ways that you can do just that.

5 Ways to Optimize Vehicle Lift Safety

School bus maintenance is vital for keeping students safe on the road, but ensuring that maintenance staff stays safe should also be a top priority. It’s estimated that over 15,000 accidents leading to hospitalization or death happen each year because of vehicle lifts. Many of these accidents may have been prevented by using the tips below. Here are five ways to optimize vehicle lift safety:

Arizona School Buses Embrace Propane Fueling

Someone call Hank Hill: Propane could be one of the solutions your school district is looking for in lowering school bus transportation costs!

Best Practices for Loading and Unloading School Buses

The laws surrounding the operation of school buses vary from state to state and even district to district, but by utilizing specific best practices, drivers are helping to keep students safe when they enter and exit the bus.

Loading and Unloading School Buses Safely

The vast majority of school-age children who are killed in school bus related crashes annually are killed outside of a bus. Half of the students killed are ages five to seven. Small children are difficult to see, making it critical to follow safety guidelines when loading and unloading buses. Here are some best practices.

Cutting Costs With Bus Routing Software

It’s no secret that school districts across the country are having a difficult time balancing their budgets. Whenever a school district faces financial challenges, the transportation department is a likely target for cuts. Eliminating bus stops and changing routes often concerns parents and administrators. Fortunately, bus-routing software can help you to optimize your routes without compromising student safety.

Expanding Internet Access of Minnesota School Buses

The Internet has literally changed the face of American education. Unfortunately, for some students in rural Minnesota it is nearly impossible to access the Web once they’ve walked out of the classroom doors. This has led educators and lawmakers to find new ways to bring the Internet to students who might otherwise miss out on valuable educational experiences.

Driver Training Tips: Curbing Violence on School Buses

School-related violence is on the rise in the United States and this has parents and school district officials worried about the safety of students on buses. Bus drivers work in tight spaces and must constantly multitask. This stressful environment can be tricky to navigate, but specialized training for school bus drivers can help them to manage conflict and prevent violent, potentially tragic scenarios.

Does School Bus Ridership Influence Student Engagement?

School buses continue to be touted as one of the safest forms of transportation around, but does school bus ridership also influence student engagement? An Education Week report suggests that student engagement starts to drop between the fifth and sixth grade. The decline in engagement appears to happen alongside a slide in school bus ridership, though the correlation between the two is not completely understood.

Eight-Way Light System on Wisconsin School Buses

This fall, Wisconsin implemented an eight-way light system for school buses throughout the state. This measure aims to increase the safety of students who rely on school bus transportation. A law that went into effect on August 16 now requires the eight-light system on newer buses statewide. The new law will apply to all buses manufactured after the 1st of January, 2005.

Is There Really a School Bus Driver Shortage?

School districts across the country are dealing with a critical bus driver shortage. This is not a new problem, but it’s an issue that is increasing in severity. In 2014, only 15 percent of school bus contracting companies reported no driver shortage. In 2015, all but six percent reported a driver shortage.

Indiana School Buses: Annual School Bus Safety Inspections

Indiana recently began conducting its standard yearly school bus safety inspections on all the vehicles across the state, and the good news is that there were very few problems. According to police conducting the inspections, most of the problems found were relatively minor and easily fixed, and one of the districts surveyed passed with 100 percent on the first try.

Illegal Passing of School Buses: 2015 Florida Survey Results

Survey results released by the Florida Department of Education indicate that illegal passing of school buses is a continued problem. Nearly 10,000 drivers across the state participated in the survey, which documented the number and type of illegal incidents, along with what part of the day they took place. Unfortunately, illegal passing is not unique to Florida. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that most violations go unreported, so the problem may be extraordinarily widespread.

Georgia County to Implement New Stop-arm Camera on School Buses

Fulton County, Georgia, is implementing a new program that will use stop-arm cameras to catch drivers who illegally pass school buses. School districts across the country are finding success with similar programs, designed to enhance school bus safety. Stop-arm cameras provide photographic evidence of vehicles that pass school buses while they are preparing to unload or load students.

FMCSA Proposal: Screening School Bus Drivers for Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious health condition that affects millions of Americans. Those that suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) experience pauses in breathing throughout the night, which can lead to daytime sleepiness, lack of concentration, decreased memory, and a higher risk of accidents, along with additional health concerns like high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. This concern led the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to consider the potential screening of commercial drivers for OSA.

FMCSA Announces Proposed Rule on School Bus Driver Training

 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has proposed regulations for entry-level commercial truck and bus drivers to complete certain training prerequisites before obtaining their commercial driver's license (CDL).

Florida District School Bus Drivers on Bullying

Bullying is a major concern across the country, and in Central Florida, a special two-day training session provided special tools for bus drivers facing this issue.

Bullying on the Bus

Close to 1,500 employees of the Orange County School District in Florida met at the Orlando Convention Center to discuss emergency response techniques and bullying on the bus. Discussed were some of the signs of bullying and what to do when bullying is suspected. Though most teachers and school administrators receive training on bullying prevention, school bullying often takes place outside of the classroom setting.

Field Trip Planning Made Easier: Why Tracking Software is Essential

Most experts agree that taking students on field trips is a positive educational experience. A recent study cited by the National Education Foundation found that, regardless of a student’s socioeconomic status, gender or ethnicity, students who take field trips benefit from higher grades, a higher graduation rate and a greater chance of future success.

Unfortunately, many school districts are forced to cut back on field trips due to budgetary concerns. The good news is that today’s transportation management software makes field trips easier to prepare for while allowing you to make the most out of your district’s field trip budget.

School Bus Transportation: Serving Students and Communities

Even though big yellow buses are most commonly associated with schools, that doesn't mean school bus transportation is only about schools. A fleet of buses is a genuine asset for any community, and they can be put to creative use in ways that go beyond their daily student transportation.

This is especially good to keep in mind when you're pushing for more investments into school bus programs and school bus routing software. With the residents of many communities being so reluctant to pay for more services, being able to talk about added benefits of having a school bus fleet can be a major selling point. Convince the community that school buses can be good for everyone and they'll be more likely to sign off on funding. Some of these could even be revenue-driving opportunities.

Daycares to Pay School Bus Fee in Pennsylvania

It's no secret that many school districts around the country are looking for creative new ways to make up budget deficits, but some ideas are going down easier than others.

The Dallastown Area School District (DASD) in Pennsylvania has made headlines recently for its latest budget-boosting move: Beginning in January 2017, it will be charging $2 per student, per day, for school bus transportation to or from daycare centers rather than to the students' homes.

Unsurprisingly, this is not going down well with parents or daycare administrators.

Florida to Train 1600 School Bus Drivers

One of the most critical --and often overlooked-- areas of school transportation systems is the problem of maintaining high standards and high morale among school bus drivers. It's a high stress and often seemingly thankless job, yet an absolutely vital position in any school district.

This is something the Hillsborough County Public School District (HCPSD) in Florida is uncomfortably familiar with. Theirs is a district which has faced problems with bus transportation for years, and much of it directly relating to issues surrounding their school bus drivers. Multiple audits over the years have shown that their drivers were underpaid, undertrained, undersupported, and suffered from poor morale. Accordingly, the district has also faced a chronic shortage of drivers, compounding all these problems.

College Students and ID Theft: The Essentials

Returning to school after a fun-filled summer, the last thing that will be on your mind is checking your credit or worrying about your identity being stolen. This unexpected crime to students leaves them being the least prepared to ward off identity theft out of the whole population. It is a growing crime which cannot just affect anyone, but where college students are a prime target.

Specialized Transportation Services: Putting Student Needs First

School bus transportation is one of the easiest and safest ways for students to get to and from school. Students with special needs, however, may need certain accommodations to ride the bus safely. School districts across the country are assessing the effectiveness of their specialized transportation services and determining how they can provide the safest and most efficient bus rides for every student.

STN Expo: The Inaugural Leadership with Propane Autogas Awards

This summer, School Transportation News, along with the Propane Education & Research Council, presented the first annual Leadership with Propane Autogas Awards to three seperate school districts. These school districts were honored for adopting alternative-fuel buses and planning for future improvements to their school bus fleets. Propane is one of the alternative fuel sources for school buses that is hailed for its cost-saving and environmental benefits. It is also considered safer for students with allergies or respiratory issues.

Indiana Gets a Grant for Stop-Arm Cameras

Indiana is now leading the way in the push to increase school bus safety with stop-arm cameras.

The East Noble School Corporation (ENSC) in Indiana has been awarded a $50,000 grant by the state's Department of Homeland Security specifically for the purpose of adding both back and forward facing stop-arm cameras to their entire school bus fleet. This follows a successful pilot program introduced this past spring, testing the use of such a camera on one bus.

California Bill to Mandate the Use of Child Check Technology

Introduced by California State Senator Tony Mendoza, the Paul Lee School Bus Safety Law was developed after the death of a 19-year-old special needs student who was left on a school bus during a dangerously hot day. This new school bus safety law, scheduled to go into effect prior to the 2018-2019 school year, will require child reminder systems to be installed on all California school buses.

School Bus Transportation: Serving Students With Autism

Autism is a term frequently used to describe a group of neuro-developmental disorders. Students on the autism spectrum generally experience challenges related to communication, social interaction and restrictive or repetitive interests or behaviors. These special needs students may also have additional needs due to medical issues, anxiety, sensory sensitivity and differences in coordination or muscle tone. Transporting students on the autism spectrum takes thorough advance planning and special accommodations.

Texas School Bus Drivers: Driver Record Evaluation

School bus drivers have a tremendous responsibility. They are, after all, transporting precious cargo. Not only do they need to possess the skills to operate a large vehicle safely, they also need behavior management, problem solving, and risk management knowledge. In Texas, school bus drivers must complete specific training, be issued a commercial driving license, and those who operate certain school buses are also required to have their driving records reviewed by their employer each year.

Transporting Service Animals on School Buses

In recent years, many school districts have experienced an uptick in the amount of requests to transport service animals. In fact, some states now require this service by law. There are many reasons that a student may work with a service animal, usually a dog. These special animals help those with visual impairment, help to alert a student that they have a low or high blood sugar level, are about to have a seizure and even provide comfort during an anxiety attack.

5 Benefits of GIS Routing for Student Bus Transportation

Student bus transportation technology has advanced tremendously over the past several years. Today, transportation professionals are relying on Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to increase efficiency and manage their programs with ease. Here are 5 of the benefits of GIS routing for student bus transportation.

Pennsylvania School Buses: Are Contracted Services the Answer?

To outsource or not to outsource? For decades, this has been a pressing question which student bus transportation coordinators have wrestled with.

A recent study by The Mackinac Center for Public Policy looked at outsourcing by school districts in several states, including Pennsylvania. They found some interesting distinctions that made Pennsylvania a special case for school bus contracting:

School Bus Safety in Florida: Child Restraint Requirements

State laws regarding school transportation and required school bus safety procedures vary vastly from state to state. Until just last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommended against the use of seatbelts on school buses. Now they suggest the use of lap and shoulder belts. Florida is one of the states that now requires seatbelts on school buses.

Child Safety Restraint Systems on School Buses: When And Why

The subject of child safety restraint systems such as seat belts on school buses has been hotly debated for many years. Properly installed child safety restraint systems keep small children restrained in their seats during bus travel. They can come installed in school buses from the factory, or added to buses at a later time. Though there is no federal mandate, many individual school districts and states are choosing to install these safety tools on their buses. So, when and why, would you install safety restraint systems on your district’s buses?

School Bus Safety and Economy: 5 Fleet Optimization Tips You Can Use

When school budgets are tight, many districts turn to their transportation departments to cut costs. There are many ways to save money, when it comes to school bus fleets. Switching to alternative fuels, minimizing field trip transportation and contracting out services are all frequently used tactics. While all of these options can save cash, maximizing efficiency through fleet optimization remains one of the best options for achieving financial stability.

School Bus Maintenance: The Upkeep of Video Systems

As technology advances, many school districts are incorporating state-of-the-art safety equipment into their transportation programs. This means that along with keeping buses in good working order, many school bus maintenance departments must now consider integrated systems. When developing your school bus maintenance plan, don’t forget to include your video systems. Just like any other piece of electrical equipment, regular maintenance will help keep cameras working well and extend their lives.

Are School Buses Really the Safest Way to Get to School?

It’s understandable that parents and school district staff would wonder about the safety of school buses. After all, school buses carry their most precious cargo. Though accidents do happen, school buses remain the safest way to transport students to and from school.

Does Your Route Management Software Need an Upgrade?

The school bus route management process has a reputation for being complex and difficult to manage. Fortunately, route optimization software has eased the burden for school districts across North America. Bus routing software allows districts to create hypothetical bus routes to increase the efficiency of student transportation.

Pupil Transportation: Costs Versus Savings of Going Green With Propane

It’s no secret that school districts across North America are looking into alternative fuels for their pupil transportation, not only to minimize negative impact on the environment, but also to save money. While a majority of school buses are still powered by diesel, more and more districts are shifting to propane.

How to Use Google Maps to Manually Locate Schools in BusBoss

BusBoss does a great job of automatically locating addresses, but there are times when it cannot find the school’s location.  When this happens, you can use google maps to manually locate schools in BusBoss.  Here’s how…

Fleet Maintenance: How to Keep Your School Bus Tires Roadworthy

Each day, school buses transport students around North America to and from school, special programs, field trips and sporting events. Parents and administrators rely on transportation departments to keep students safe, and tire care should be part of any effective fleet maintenance plan.

School Bus Safety: The Fight Against Illegal Passing

Illegal passing of school buses is a major school bus safety concern. Though passing a stopped school bus is against the law in most areas, traffic codes vary from state to state. Because this poses such a threat to students, many local governments are cracking down and developing legislation to prevent the practice.

Is Your Current Bus Route Planning Inefficient? Easy Ways to Make Changes

Each day, more than half of America’s K-12 students take the bus to school. In fact, the school bus industry is the largest form of mass transit in the U.S. School buses keep cars off the road and the environment cleaner. Making sure that school buses run efficiently strengthens their positive environmental impact while saving districts money.

Fleet Maintenance: How to Spot Common Brake Problems

School buses are widely regarded as some of the safest, most reliable vehicles on the road; however, brake problems have been noted on buses manufactured by major brands. The frequent stopping of school buses can place stress on brakes, so keeping an eye out for common brake problems should be a part of your regular fleet maintenance program.

School Transportation Safety: 5 Critical Tips for Driver Training

When it comes to providing school bus driver training, the key to success is going beyond the basics. Of course, a bus driver must know how to safely maneuver a bus, but the job of a school bus driver is filled with complexities that must be prepared for. Here are five critical tips for driver training to increase school transportation and student safety.

5 Ways to Reduce School Bus Transportation Costs

School districts across North America are experiencing the realities of shrinking budgets. Unfortunately, when budgets are slashed, transportation departments are often the hardest hit. As students and parents consider the impact of canceled field trips and discontinued programs, transportation departments are scrambling to find solutions. Here are five ways your district can reduce school bus transportation costs while keeping the needs of your students in mind.

Fleet Maintenance: Just How Clean Is Today's Diesel Fuel?

Until recently, diesel fuel was associated with school buses that were loud, dirty and smelled bad. Over the past several years, diesel has become cleaner, though certain myths still exist about its true environmental impact. School buses provide reliable transportation for millions of American students each day, so it’s no wonder that parents and school administrators worry about how diesel fuel affects health.

School Bus Safety: Training Drivers to Deal With Emergencies

School bus drivers are typically required to complete extensive training before hitting the road. In most districts, this includes instruction for dealing with emergency situations. Deciding what topics should be covered can be a difficult decision because training utilizes valuable time and resources. Here are some subjects that should be included in your school bus safety training program.

Is Stop-Arm Camera Technology Making School Bus Transportation Safer?

Illegal passing of school buses is a huge safety concern for school bus transportation officials. In a 2013 report for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, during a single-day count, school bus drivers documented over 3,000 vehicles illegally passing stopped school buses.

This problem is not unique to one area of the country. After the installation of stop arm cameras on school buses in Austin, TX, over 1,000 violators were captured during a 30 day grace period.

Special Needs Student Transportation: Developing Driver Training

Special needs students across North America rely on school bus transportation to get them safely to and from school. Though traffic laws and regulations surrounding the safe transport of students of all abilities differ from state to state and district to district, there are certain skills that should be taught to any bus driver who works with students who require special services.

3 Ways Technology Has Changed the Student Transportation Game

There is no denying that technology advances are affecting the way we work and live our lives. This is especially true when it comes to student transportation.

Advances to the transportation industry in general are mind-boggling. Many cars and buses now come equipped with WiFi, satellite radio and a host of integrations. One study even suggests that there will be 10 million self-driving cars on the road by 2020!

Transparency: Benefits of Video Surveillance in School Buses

School buses are well known for their safety and reliability. In fact, they represent the largest form of public transportation in the country. Parents trust school transportation programs to keep their kids safe, and video surveillance is helping school districts do just that.

Finding the Best Route Planning Software For Your School Bus Fleet

Across the country, school districts are facing budget cuts, forcing transportation departments to make the most out of every dollar. Optimizing routes for maximum efficiency is one of the best ways to save on fuel and staffing costs, while ensuring student safety. The process of organizing efficient routes is often time-consuming and complicated. Utilizing school bus routing software allows transportation departments to achieve their goals easily and efficiently.

Dealing with Bullies on the Bus: Practical Advice for School Districts

Bullying in the educational setting is a problem that has captured the attention of school districts across North America. Anytime the physical and emotional safety of a child is threatened, their ability to learn decreases. According to the U.S. Department of Education, nearly 10 percent of school bullying happens on buses. In order to keep bullying at bay in your district, it’s vital to train bus drivers so that they are prepared to handle threats.

Bus Driver Monitors on the Rise: Why They're Important

School buses are truly the country’s largest public transportation systems. In recent years, incidents around the country have forced the important issue of student safety to the forefront. As parents, teachers and administrators advocate for increased security for school bus riders, equipping school buses with monitors is on the rise.

School Bus Safety: The Hot Debate Over Seat Belts Wages On

School bus seat belt laws exist in six states; however, some argue that bus seat belts are unnecessary, and even potentially dangerous. It’s a hot topic with parents and school administrators, and this school bus safety issue is certainly worth the continued discussion.

Bad Weather Closings and Delays: Considerations for Pupil Transportation

School districts and their transportation departments are often required to make tough calls to ensure student safety. One of the many challenges that administrators face is inclement weather, no matter the time of the year.

Depending on where in North America you live, certain weather events can pose extreme hazards to students and staff. Preparing for severe weather should be a part of any school district’s emergency plan. The National Weather Service has developed a set of guidelines intended to help school administrators and emergency management personnel create a personalized weather preparedness plan that fits their unique needs.

School Bus Safety Innovations: The Ins and Outs of Electronic Stability Control

Introduced in the 1990s, electronic stability control is a computerized technology that improves the stability of a vehicle by detecting loss of traction, or skidding. Electronic stability control is now available on some school buses, and many districts are weighing the pros and cons of investing in this school bus safety feature.

Scheduling Software Takes the Headaches Out of School Bus Routing

In an ideal world, school districts would be able to set their routes and utilize them year after year. The reality is, expanding student populations, redistricting, and rising costs mean that school transportation administrators must keep a constant eye on routes and change them frequently.

Satellite Tracking Apps for School Buses

If you have been wondering if incorporating a satellite tracking app system for your school bus fleet is really worth the investment, there is strong evidence to indicate that it is. There are many benefits to utilizing this technology, and student safety tops the list.

4 Signs Your Fleet Management Software is Due for an Upgrade

No matter the size of your fleet, implementing the right fleet management software will keep your students safer and save your district money. You understand the benefits of great transportation software, but with today’s rapid technology advances, how do you know when it’s time for an upgrade?

Bus Route Optimization: Finding the Most Logical Solution to Save Money

School districts with budget constraints and looming cuts are seeking out ways to get the most bang for their buck. Many are finding that bus route optimization is the perfect solution for saving money.

Tips For Winter School Bus Fleet Maintenance

As drivers around the country break out their snow tires, school district transportation departments are preparing buses for chilly temperatures. Ensuring that your fleet stays in tip-top shape during the winter months takes some effort and planning. Here are some tips for winter school bus fleet maintenance.

3 Ways to Tell if Your Bus Fleet is Emergency Ready

The jobs of school bus drivers and transportation administrators are vitally important. As the adults responsible for getting students to and from school, field trips, and special events safely, taking appropriate precautions to prepare for and respond to emergencies is an important part of these jobs.

3 Easy Ways to Improve How You Track Student Ridership

Today’s technology allows parents and school district employees to determine if a student is on a bus, in real-time. The ever-increasing use of smart phones and tablets means that more and more people expect to have access to information about their children’s whereabouts so that they can act quickly should an emergency arise.

School Bus Maintenance Winter Challenges

School buses are often exposed to extreme conditions, and the winter months can be particularly hard on your fleet. The addition of ice, snow and chilly weather to an already strained bus can lead to tire slippage, engine trouble and rust. Winter weather can expose the weaknesses in your fleet, and when the air gets chilly, school bus maintenance issues usually spring to life.

Does Your School District Need a School Bus Finder?

Student safety is the number one priority for school transportation professionals. With over 55% of US students riding school buses, finding the best way to operate a fleet impacts millions of students across the country. School districts are facing great pressure to meet the needs of their students with a minimal effect to their budget. Implementing a school bus finder can help your district do just that.

Student Tracking Made Simpler with Student ID Badges

Keeping track of students is a priority that is increasing in importance in school districts across North America and around the world. One of the easiest and most cost-efficient ways to track students is by utilizing an ID system.Meta Description: Student ID badge usage is an efficient and cost-effective way to track students. Learn more about utilizing RFID systems  to keep students safe and save districts money.

School Bus Safety Issues You Need to Watch for 2016

Each day, over twenty three million students begin their day with a ride on a school bus. For school transportation experts, student and driver safety is a top priority. Each year, the National Association for Pupil Transportation organizes the National School Bus Safety Week. The 2016 theme is “STOP ON RED.”

School Buses Going Green: The Push for Alternative Fuel

Though school buses have not always been known for their fuel efficiency, many school districts across the U.S. and Canada have been making the switch to alternative fuel sources and environmentally friendly transportation management system options. This shift not only benefits the environment, it’s providing cost-saving perks to districts.

Alternative fuel sources are heralded as a healthier substitute for all children, especially those with health concerns, such as asthma. For children with special needs, who might take longer to get on and off a vehicle, the risk of breathing in air contaminated by diesel fuel produced by an idling bus engine is intensified.

4 Reasons Why GPS Vehicle Tracking Software Has Become Essential

School districts throughout North America are being urged to up the level of safety they provide to their students, while at the same time cutting costs. While this is not an easy feat, it’s also not impossible, due to ever advancing transportation industry technology.

Are Fuel Efficient Tires Worth the Cost?

School districts across North America are employing several transportation management solutions to increase fuel efficiency and cut costs. Investing in fuel-efficient tires for their buses is one chosen strategy. The question is, do tires designed for fuel efficiency really work? The short answer is, they do, but they don’t necessarily save districts money.

When to Know When Your District Needs to Outsource Student Transportation

There are certainly pros and cons to outsourcing student transportation, and many administrators hold strong opinions on the matter. With more and more districts facing the stark reality of decreased budgets, transportation outsourcing is becoming a common practice.

Driver Communication Issues: From Distracted Driving to Poor Communication Systems

According to a recent survey commissioned by the American School Bus Council, six in ten parents are concerned about having their children ride on school buses. While the reasons behind their worries ranged from accidents to bullying, unsafe drivers and lack of information were two top concerns.

How Does Optimizing Your Bus Route Planning Mean Big Savings?

Education budgets are tight, and in many school districts, the transportation department is one of the first areas to experience cuts. School districts throughout North America are being urged to up their student safety standards, while at the same time cutting costs. While this is not an easy feat, it’s also not impossible, due to ever advancing transportation industry technology.

Wi-Fi Equipped School Buses Gaining in Popularity

The practice of equipping school buses with Wi-Fi is growing in popularity across the U.S., and it’s easy to understand why. School buses are no longer used just for taking students to and from school. As more school districts are pushing to provide internet access to all of the students they serve, providing a hotspot on wheels is an attractive alternative.

Safety First! The Real Issue of Illegal Passing Rears its Head

When it comes to passing school buses, motorists in each state are subject to a different set of laws and regulations. Though most motorists understand the safety risks of illegally passing a bus, it remains a consistent, though dangerous, practice. In fact, a survey conducted in 2012 by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services indicates that there are nearly 16 million violations each school year.

Does Your School Bus Safety Plan Prepare You For An Accident?

Throughout the many years BusBoss has been bringing school districts transportation management software, we have heard numerous stories about school bus accidents, and these accidents are deeply troubling to us.

School Transportation Software: How Should I Protect Sensitive Data?

While creating safe and efficient school bus routes is the main focus of most school district transportation programs, protecting student, parent and school data should be a major priority. School transportation software offers benefits such as route optimization, but the software also stores sensitive data.

Bus Routing Software: What Dashboard Features Do You Really Need?

School districts searching for the right transportation routing software to suit their fleet management needs often have questions about how they can customize routing programs. Every school transportation program has different requirements when it comes to dashboard features.

How To Improve Special Needs Student Safety With Routing Software

Transporting special needs students to and from school is a challenge for many bus drivers, even when school bus routes are organized and a school district’s fleet management is effective.

Transparency In Transportation: Are Your District’s Bus Routes Safe?

Many parents are shocked when they discover their school district does not use up-to-date fleet management techniques for creating school bus routes. Parents assume their children board the same bus every day, but this is sometimes not true when districts don’t use route management systems.

3 Key Reasons To Implement Bus Routing Software This Summer

Few school district transportation employees look forward to coming back to work after summer break. For most transportation staff, this is the time of year they must complete route optimization tasks, either manually or with outdated software.

If your current school bus routing software makes planning bus routes a disorganized, hectic experience, perhaps it is time to upgrade to a new route management system that includes the latest fleet management technology.

At the end of the school year, transportation administrators meet with school bus drivers to close out their schedules for the year. Administrators review the year with each driver and take suggestions for improvement next year.

Route Management Software: How Long Does It Really Take To Implement?

One of the primary concerns of school district administrators seeking to use fleet management and GPS tracking software for route optimization is the amount of time the implementation process takes.

Fleet Management: Identify Your Bus Routing Strengths And Weaknesses

When assessing your school district’s transportation program, there are a number of factors to analyze that make up a successful program. Cost management and benchmarking goals play an important role in determining how well your program operates.

Bus Routing Software Lets You Plan, Monitor And Budget For Field Trips

Field trips have a proven track record of engaging students outside of the classroom and paving the way to a successful educational future. As every school transportation program administrator knows, however, field trips are not always simple to plan.

3 Ways GPS Vehicle Tracking Streamlines Your School Bus Transportation

With the tightly packed schedules school bus transportation program employees face every day, there is little room for uncertainty in regards to the school bus routes drivers are expected to follow.

How The Right Bus Routing Software Improves Drivers’ Daily Routine

School bus driver satisfaction is an important goal for many transportation programs seeking to reduce employee turnover and provide beneficial work conditions to employees.

3 Ways GPS Vehicle Tracking Helps Contractors Win More Bids

Due to the amount of competition involved in winning bids from school bus transportation programs, contractors must provide services that give them an advantage over competitors. GPS vehicle tracking and bus routing software offer benefits that manually creating bus routes simply cannot. 

School Transportation From The Eyes Of A Parent

4 Things Every Transportation Official Needs to Know

Prior to understanding the industry of student transportation I knew my child got on a bus, with a driver and other children and was transported to school.  It was simple right? How hard could it be?  Now that I have an in depth knowledge of the industry I have an unbelievable amount of respect for the men and women that tackle this task every day.  From the directors, to the drivers, to the administrative assistants, I am here to say I could not do what you do! It is not an easy task, there are many factors that come into play.  Below are some tips for transportation officials from a parent’s point of view to hopefully help make your lives a little easier and understand where we are coming from.

4 Ways GPS Tracking Improves Field Trip Management

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. 

The Services You Need To Easily Implement Bus Routing Software

School transportation software makes bus route optimization and fleet management easier and more efficient for school district transportation administrators and contractors. 

Use Training To Unlock The Full Value Of Your Bus Routing Software

School districts investing in bus routing software know it is a financially beneficial decision that also increases student safety. These two positive attributes of school transportation software make fleet management simpler and more organized. 

Orbit Gives Back! Route Optimization Grant to Be Awarded

Orbit Software's goal has always been to give back.  Using BusBoss bus routing software for route optimization!  Allowing districts to allocate these savings to other programs that budget cuts have eliminated.

Whether it be to the communities around them through their Orbit Outreach committee or by providing their software program, BusBoss, to non profit organizations in US and Canada.  This year Orbit decided that wasn't enough.  On April 1st, 2015 they released a contest open to every school district in the United States.  Their goal once again, to give back.  

This contest is to give a deserving school district a grant for a public schools route optimization service.  This service could potentially save the winning district thousands of dollars a year through optimizing their transportation, not to mention the cost of the optimization itself could be upwards of $30,000.  All free to the winning district! 

School Bus Safety: Driver Fatigue

Driver fatigue has been the cause of many school bus accidents over the years.  There are instances of school bus drivers falling asleep behind the wheel resulting in students being injured and in the most unfortunate of circumstances being killed.

School Bus Drivers: Retaining Good Drivers

Retaining good school bus drivers continues to be an issue for transportation departments nationwide.  Districts that offer competitive salaries as well as health and retirement benefits find it a lot easier to retain drivers.  However, this may be difficult for some districts that are faced with limiting budgets.  In addition to paying drivers a decent wage, they also need to provide enough working hours, ongoing training and create a supportive working environment.

Raise Funding For Student Tracking And School Bus Routing Software

If you have researched student tracking and bus routing software, you may already be aware of the opportunities these programs provide to improve student safety and achieve a significant return on initial investments. Student GPS tracking may be the best option for your school district in light of the benefits to both your students and your budget. 

School Bus Safety: Seat Belts

Each year school buses transport approximately 24 million students to and from school, covering more than 4 billion miles.  There has been much debate over whether seat belts should be required on school buses.  At first thought, the answer seems to be an obvious yes.  Seat belts save lives in cars, so it would seem logical that seat belts in buses would do the same.

5 Questions You Must Ask When Implementing Student GPS Tracking

The choice to implement student GPS tracking within your school district is a major decision that requires a great deal of dialogue among administrators and other school district employees. Understandably, those in charge of making the decision on student tracking software and bus routing programs want to know they are asking the right questions, and most importantly, getting answers

4 Ways To Increase ROI When Investing In Student And Bus Tracking

While student GPS tracking may be an unfamiliar idea to parents in your school district, student tracking software has been proven to increase safety for children who are under your school district’s care. Bus tracking and school bus routing software not only ensure your students are safe, but they produce a significant return on investment (ROI) when used to their potential. 

School Bus Drivers: Recruiting Drivers

School bus driver shortages are occurring nationwide, so it is important for school districts to recruit and hire qualified candidates.  Even though there is a driver shortage transportation officials should not relax hiring standards in order to rush and fill open positions.  It takes someone with very special and unique skill sets to be a good school bus driver. 

Student Tracking: The Benefits For Student & Transportation Management

By now, you’ve likely heard a lot about student GPS tracking. Increasingly, districts are incorporating this technology into their schools for a variety of beneficial reasons. While student GPS tracking isn’t exactly new to school districts, its growing acceptance is

School Bus Drivers: School Bus Driver Shortage

Getting students safely to and from school is a priority for everyone.  However many school districts are experiencing a shortage in school bus drivers.  School bus driver shortage is an ongoing challenge that districts repeatedly face before, during and throughout each school year.  There are varying reasons for the shortage, but the effects are clear.  The shortage puts additional pressure on existing drivers and route scheduling.

Student GPS Tracking: Security And Legal Issues Schools Need To Know

When it comes to student GPS tracking, data security, privacy rights and other legal issues are a big concern for some parents and school district members. It’s not uncommon for district members to be concerned with the safety and effectiveness of student tracking, while parents may have conscientious or religious objections. 

School Bus Bullying: Ways to Eliminate Bullying

bullying_stops_hereThe best way to eliminate school bus bullying is to create a supportive and positive school bus environment that recognizes bullying early and makes it unacceptable behavior.  It’s very important that school officials, bus drivers and parents all get involved to support ways to eliminate bullying.  School officials, bus drivers, parents and students all play a vital role.

School Bus Bullying: How to React to Bullying

Bully_PicIt is estimated that nearly one in five students are subjected to school bus bullying.  A parent’s initial reaction may be to rush in and protect their child.  However, this may not be the best response since parents cannot be present every time a bullying incident may occur.  There are steps that both students and parents can take to prevent and eliminate bullying on the school bus.

5 Talking Points To Confront Parental Concerns Of A Student Tracking Device

Student GPS tracking has been a topic of hot debate amongst parents. While certain myths about student tracking have been spread around, the benefits of this added safety feature to school bus routing software have proven to be far more powerful than the misinformation. 

School Bus Bullying: Signs of Bullying

Students who are being bullied often exhibit some warning signs.  If parents, school bus drivers, teachers and other school officials are aware of these signs they can take action to stop and work on reducing or eliminating the issues.

A Look Inside The Growing Acceptance Of Student Tracking In 2015

Ever since its early adoption by some school districts, student and bus tracking has been a hot-button debate topic. Over the last few years, myths have been formulated and then debunked, and the benefits have abounded and transformed the skeptics. 

School Bus Bullying: What It Is And Why Bullies Pick The Bus

How Bus Scheduling Software Improves Your Fleet Optimization

Are you fielding too many calls from frustrated parents fed up with inconsistent bus schedules impacting their morning routine? 

Safer Bus Routes: Avoiding “Danger Zones” Takes A Two-Prong Approach

Scheduling safe school bus routes is a serious initiative for every school district. As a school administrator, transportation manager or transportation contractor, your main goal is to get students to and from school safely, every day. 

5 Questions To Ask When Choosing A Transportation Management System

Finding the right transportation management system for school bus routing comes down to doing your due diligence by asking the most important questions of any provider. You need to partner with the right provider to achieve bus routing efficiency and cost savings. 

5 Key Ways Bus Routing Software Improves Your School Services

Is your current manual bus routing system riddled with too many management issues? Are you looking for efficient school bus routing solutions? Don’t you wish you always had an answer when a parent calls concerned about their child’s whereabouts? 

The Top 3 Cost-Saving Services Of School Bus Routing Software

School bus routing software is rapidly catching on with school districts and transportation management companies around the U.S. for its ability to improve route optimization and render significant cost-savings. 

Route Optimization: 4 Environmental Reasons To Reduce Your Bus Fleet

In a perfect world – to protect your students and the environment, to cut back on unnecessary spending and to comply with clean-air government policies – you’d retrofit your bus fleet or upgrade to newer buses to limit your diesel exhaust emissions.

However, with federal budget cutbacks for clean diesel programs and the high cost of replacing old school buses with new ones (think $125k-$175K per bus), you need a more reasonable alternative to reducing carbon emissions.

GPS Vehicle Tracking Systems Take On New Meaning

Expectations are high for schools to provide transportation that is cost-efficient, safe and accountable.  Schools are tasked with making the most of their resources while delivering A+ service to their students, parents and communities.

What Does Student Management Software Integration Actually Mean?

Software integration is a matter of increasing concern for schools, as they come to embrace database-driven processes for improving their administrative practices.  There's no doubt that electronic and paperless processes can be a huge boon to schools, as well as saving a lot of money on the back end, but these systems bring their own challenges.

Field Trip Management for Special Needs Students

Whenever you take students anywhere on a bus, you're handling some of the most precious cargo that can ever be on our roads. Obviously, the safety of students should always be top priority. However, things get more complex when dealing with special needs students. Your buses and bus systems have to be ready for the challenges they may present, while still ensuring every student gets there and back safely.

Student Management Software Integration Issues & Troubleshooting

It's usually the little things that cause some of the biggest headaches. 

Laws for Field Trip Planning & Managing

School districts have legal, ethical and moral obligations to keep students reasonably safe and secure when in their care.  This obligation extends beyond the school grounds into off-campus field trips.  These off-site excursions open up students to potential hazards that would not be present in the normal school environment.  Therefore, safeguards must be set for the protection of students and to ensure that risks and potential liabilities are minimized.       

Top 10 Things to Consider When Planning and Scheduling Field Trips

Field trips are educational experiences scheduled off-campus and planned by school personnel to reinforce classroom instruction. Field trips can be a wonderful experience for both teachers and students, providing a memorable learning experience. 

GPS Vehicle Tracking - An Introduction

GPS vehicle tracking is a very well-established technology at this point, in use by fleet systems and individual drivers all over the world. It's safe, reliable, and even as you read this, there are likely thousands of people using GPS to get where they need to go.

How to Use GPS Vehicle Tracking Systems for Efficient Fleet Management

The benefits of GPS vehicle tracking systems such as Zonar and Synovia go beyond simply
ensuring the safety of your precious passengers. These are powerful tools which can revolutionize your fleet management, helping you optimize your system in ways that simply aren't possible with hand-collected data.

5 Benefits of Student Management Software Integration

BusBoss is already the most powerful option on the market for large-scale school bus routing and transportation management. However, BusBoss can go even further! When you use software integration to pair BusBoss with the Pearson PowerSchool student management system, you get an all-in-one solution that brings total oversight to your operations.

Does GPS Vehicle Tracking Equate to 'Big Brother'?

Schools have long had a love-hate relationship with new technology.  Administrators love finding new technological solutions that can save time and money -especially if it keeps students safer in the process- but parents are often wary about exposing their children to untested new ideas.

School Bus Safety, Is My Bus Overcrowded?

 

One Simple Method For Finding The Most Efficient Bus Routes For Your Schools

Since schools first started providing public transportation, the costs and difficulties involved in busing students have always been a significant concern. A school's transportation system can be one of the single biggest budget drains on a district, even when it's well-optimized.

Simply creating routes used to be an incredibly complex and time-consuming affair. The old strings-on-a-map approach (which is still occasionally in use today!) would generally take weeks or months to produce even a single set of routes. Tedious and labor-intensive, this process would often take an entire summer of work... only to see the routes get mangled within the first week, thanks to student transfers and other last-minute changes.

Does Student Tracking Ensure Safer Bus Rides?


Despite some initial controversy, RFID-based student tracking systems are beginning to be utilized around the country to make student bussing safer and more effective.

In just the last couple years, programs have been implemented in Rockford, Denver, and in cities across South Carolina. Consistently, the reports have been positive: student tracking truly does help keep students safe, as well as giving districts numerous new ways to optimize their busing.

In the meantime, the fears that this would somehow turn into a "Big Brother" scenario are being shown as unfounded. The potential for gain is great, with very little actual potential for abuse.

While the initial system installation can require a substantial up-front outlay, this investment is quickly rewarded.

Five Ways RFID Student Tracking Creates Better Bus Rides

1 - No-question bus ridership tracking.

With RFID scanners on your buses, there's rarely any question as to whether a student rode a bus. After all, they're being recorded every time they get on or off. This, in turn, is transmitted instantly to your servers in the office.

Besides the obvious benefits to your state reporting, this greatly reduces the chances of miscommunication between parents, students, and drivers. If a parent discovers they're unsure whether their child got on the bus, all it takes is a couple mouse-clicks to discover the truth.

2 - Improper departure alerts.

Another benefit to this tracking system is that, when it's tied to a GPS system, the computers will instantly know which students are supposed to get off at which stops. If a student tries to leave the bus at the wrong stop, the driver is immediately alerted so they can assess the situation.

Generally, bus drivers are given some discretion when one child is getting off with a known friend. On the other hand, if a student is simply confused, a potentially dangerous mishap is avoided entirely.

3 - Medical alerts.

When a student's records are tied to their bus routing, it means drivers can always be alerted if a student with special medical needs is riding. Students with respiratory or cardiac conditions can be placed where the driver can keep an eye on them.

By the same token, should a legitimate medical emergency occur, the integrated tracking system will speed dispatch response. You'll know within a couple feet where the bus is from the moment it comes to a stop. So, you can already be getting ready to send out assistance.

In situations where minutes can make the difference between life and death, onboard bus tracking systems greatly improve the odds.

4 - Truant student detection.

It happens: A student arrives on the bus in the morning, but then "somehow" ends up behind the gymnasium rather than appearing in class. Or they may simply walk right back off campus before anyone sees them.

Student tracking makes these sorts of games far less likely to work. If you have scanners on your school doors, for example, the system will expect to see the student pass through within a few minutes of delivery. If it doesn't happen, you can be alerted.

Similarly, a few RFID scanners around your perimeter mean you'll know quickly if a student is trying to ditch.

5 - More power to your drivers.

While it's been a running theme, it's worth explicitly mentioning the improvements to your drivers' experience. Onboard bus tracking systems can take a lot of burdens off their back, leading to better morale and more effective driving:

  • No more annoying hand-written checklists or sign-in sheets.

  • Complete performance tracking reduces their need to manually record bus usage data.

  • Clear and unambiguous onboard maps point them to every logged student's stop.

  • Faster calls for support when help is needed.

  • No chance of getting lost with GPS systems.

In short, these tracking systems help keep your drivers "in the loop," empowering them to make decisions more easily while reducing bureaucratic burdens.

Are There Downsides To Student Tracking?

There are remarkably few arguments against RFID tracking, besides the initial installation costs. Otherwise, the most common reported problems are:

  1. Parents misunderstanding the system, and overestimating its effects on privacy. This can be addressed with better communications.

  2. Students wrapping their ID badges in tinfoil to defeat the RFID tracker. However, this is easily countered with a visual check.

  3. Lost cards, which will be an unavoidable ongoing cost.

That said, the overall safety and reporting improvements should vastly outweigh the expenditures associated with replacing lost cards.

Is It Time For Bus Tracking?

On-bus student tracking systems can quickly make your bus routes safer, your drivers happier, and your state reporting easier. The combined cost savings virtually always outweigh the investment, not to mention the ease of mind they bring to both parents and administrators.

To learn more about the power of RFID student tracking, simply contact us to receive a free consultation!

 

Orbit Software 10 Questions To Ask When Considering A School Bus Tracking System To Minimize Parent Complaints

 

Ways A School Management System Makes Your Life Easier

How are you going to be managing the thousands of students, faculty, and other staff in your school system for next year? While you could continue to go with the old fashioned way of lots of paperwork and numerous headaches, there are much simpler solutions being developed constantly that are very inexpensive and easy to implement into your own school's managing structure. In fact, there is technology out there that takes most of the guesswork out of figuring out how to manage your school, your bus routes, and your students at the fraction of the time it would take you using the "old ways." An online school management system isn't just software that will replace your job, it is a tool that will help better your job and here's why.

Easier Student Tracking

How To Know If You're Properly Using A Student Tracking Sheet

Having to track hundreds or thousands of students in the past was normally a paperwork nightmare. However, with advances in technology and being able to have students digitally sign in or have other technologically advanced means a much better and efficient system for you. And when you have a highly efficient system that accurately tracks students who are attending school every day, you are able to get the kind of funding you need for your school.

How To Know When Your Bus Routes Are Safe And Efficient

If there are two watchwords for a modern school bus system, they should be “safety” and “efficiency.” Since a school's transportation budget can be one of their biggest money drains, virtually anything that decreases the costs of transportation will benefit your school's bottom line.

However, of course, this has to be done without endangering your students in any way.

Unified Communications Keep Your Drivers In The Loop

Unified communications isn't just for big business any more. The technology and networking explosion of the last few years has made it possible for virtually any operation to benefit from "big data," not just the corporations.

In fact, schools around the country are discovering just how effective a UC solution can be for their district. For modest initial outlays, you can invest in a system that will truly speed your operations in every area, creating a school district that's more flexible and better-able to adjust to change.

7 Proven Ways In-Bus GPS Systems Promote Safer Drivers

During the course of a school day, your students are probably in more danger during their daily busing than at any other time. Our road system is naturally hazardous. Anything a school district can do to reduce dangers to their students will pay off in both money and lives saved.

In-bus Global Positioning Systems are one of the most proven ways of making your buses and your bus drivers safer. That translates directly into ongoing benefits to your school.

Does Student Tracking Ensure Safer Bus Rides?

Despite some initial controversy, RFID-based student tracking systems are beginning to be utilized around the country to make student bussing safer and more effective.

4 Effective Techniques For Improving Your Bus Drivers Morale

Every day, millions of students get on board school buses, making them the most precious - and vulnerable- cargo on the road. One of a school's first and most important duties is ensuring those students reach their destination safely every time.

Safe-Driving Incentives To Keep Your Top Bus Drivers!

The use of in-bus GPS systems continues to spread, and for good reason. Geolocation tracking leads directly to better oversight, faster communication, shorter bus runs, and an overall safer experience for students on every ride.

How GPS Tracking Data Keeps Your Bus Fleet Running Smoothly

"Big Data" is a term that's being thrown around more and more in business. Rather than being a single process, "big data" represents the idea that virtually any operation - even a school district - can ultimately find significant cost savings through data collection and analysis.

Plan Safer Field Trips With 3 Simple Driver Strategies

For hundreds of years, field trips have been a tried and true teaching technique. Taking students out of a classroom and into a "real world" situation has always been a good way of reinforcing the lessons, and showing that they aren't just abstract exercises.

10 Do’s & Don’ts Of Reorganizing A Bus Route

When it comes to running a school's transportation system, your precious cargo truly does come first.

How School Districts Can Ensure Critical Student Information Is Easily Accessible

If your school district isn't doing everything possible to put student information where it's easily-accessible to those who need it, you're just creating a lot of problems for yourselves.

10 Ways To Make School Transportation Safer

Of all the “cargo” on our nation's roads, none is more important than the millions of students who ride school bus services every day. It's the single largest -and most dangerous- logistical challenge that faces a modern school district.

5 Ways School District Transportation Can Accommodate Special Need Students

When it comes to organizing and setting up a transportation system in a school district, nothing is easy. However, things can get downright complicated when dealing with special-needs students who, for whatever reason, cannot be dealt with in the same way as most students.

10 Benefits Of Integrating Student Info Systems With Bus Routing Software

Does your school district need an all-in-one software solution for keeping up with your students? After all, one of the biggest issues when schools look at updating their computer systems is the problem of systems integration. Ultimately,  , since otherwise there's a continual problem with ensuring the data moves freely as it's needed.

The BEST Way To Inform Parents of a School Emergency

While it would certainly be nice if we could run our school districts without the need to quickly contact parents, it's just not going to happen. Emergencies and unexpected events are impossible to avoid entirely, and sometimes, you simply need to get in touch with a parent ASAP.

ICE: 15 Things a Student Information System Can Tell You

Are you still managing your student information on paper? Or are you still juggling Excel files, rather than investing in a true database solution?

How School Districts Can Take Action to Prevent School Bullying

Currently, bullying is a hot topic at schools across the nation.

How A Transportation Routing Software System Lowers Costs

Budget. The big bottom line. It’s impossible not to think about it because when the buck stops so does your bus. With transportation routing software you can help lower your transportation services’ cost by helping each vehicle in your fleet operate at their peak efficiency. 

8 Ways Schools Can Ensure Students Get on a Bus (And How It Helps Attendance!)

When it comes to ensuring your school district receives as much state funding as possible, few ways are better than simply ensuring students are in their seats every morning.

12 Ways Pearson PowerSchool Integration Saves a School Money

We don't need to tell you that saving money -and trying to increase funding- is a priority for any school.  With budgets continuing to be slashed, and local communities often unwilling to fund bonds or more property taxes, it's often left entirely to school administrators to make "enough" out of too little.   We've been saying all along that Orbit Software's BusBoss is one of the best investments a school can make, for reducing its transportation and administrative costs.  However, now that BusBoss and Pearson PowerSchool can be integrated, you've got the option for an amazing cost-cutting combination.  

12 Ways Pearson PowerSchool Integration Reduces School District Response Times

As folks say, “Time is money.” Yet, in schools, time is practically everything.  Time determines your funding. Time determines test scores. Time determines scheduling. Time, ultimately, dictates nearly everything that happens during a school day, starting when your buses leave in the morning and only ending sometime after dark.

12 Signs School Buses Are Over-Crowded

Out of all the jobs a school does, there's probably none that's more central or vital than protecting the students in its care. Unfortunately, it seems like there's been a rash of incidents lately with schools running buses that are dangerously overcrowded.

15 Ways Pearson PowerSchool Integration Brings Peace of Mind to Parents, Teachers & Administrators

It seems to happen so rarely, but doesn't your school district run more smoothly when everyone's more-or-less satisfied?

Need State Funding? How Pearson PowerSchool Integration Can Help!

A school in America lives or dies by its state funding.  When funds are doled out according to statistics - such as bus ridership, attendance rates, and test scores - it's vital a school receives every dollar it's due, while still trying to increase the numbers.  On top of that, a single mistake in submissions can cost thousands of dollars, or more.

12 Ways Pearson PowerSchool Integration Saves School Resources

BusBoss has gotten better!  Thanks to our new PowerSchool integration, it's possible for schools around the world to merge their bus-routing and student information systems into a single software suite. Doing so creates one of the most powerful combined tools on the market, anywhere, for managing virtually every aspect of a school's day-to-day operations.

How Pearson PowerSchool Improves a School’s “Audit Management”

These days, like it or not, a school district depends on the quality of their auditing and reporting. With so much school funding now reliant on proper reporting, a school district absolutely cannot afford to make costly mistakes. At best, this only leads to reduced funding and, at worst, can involve hefty fines.

Slow Traffic Areas For School Buses & How to Deal With Them

In many cities across the United States, morning and evening rush hour can be frustrating and a difficult undertaking. This issue is no different for school buses as they hit the same local traffic as other motorists. Through the use of modern technology that many drivers use on a daily basis, there is an efficient solution for slow traffic areas for school buses: school bus routing software with integrated GPS tracking. Essentially, it is software that automatically finds the best routes for your buses based on current local traffic conditions.

10 Signs Your School Needs More Efficient Bus Routing

Students, parents, teachers, and schools all rely on a smoothly operating bus system so as to spend less time worrying about getting to school and back and more time focusing on bettering their lives. However, when a bus route is inefficient, it costs both students their precious time as well large amounts of a transportation director's money and funding. Here are ten signs that one of your bus routes is inefficient and some tricks to try help alleviate problems, deliver students on a better time schedule, and save interested parties valuable money on gas, maintenance, and bus driver wages.

15 Tips On How To Prepare For A Bus Route Change

There are few responsibilities facing a school district which are larger, more important, or more potentially hazardous than your need to transport hundreds or thousands of students safely, every day.

Bus Routing Cheat Sheet: Is Your School Ready for Opening Day?

Summer Vacation is, of course, never a real vacation if you're a school administrator. (Although not having kids constantly underfoot is nice.) Parents and students often don't understand how much work is involved in ensuring a school is ready for the first day of classes in the fall.

The Secret To Saving School Money In 2014: Reorganizing Bus Routes

If your school district's budget feels too tight for the upcoming year, you may be sitting on top of a goldmine of potential ongoing cost savings. 

5 Steps To Take Before Optimizing Your School's Bus Routes

Even when software is easy to use, it's only as useful as the data that goes into it. So, to get the most out of BusBoss, or any bus route optimization software program, a certain amount of preparation will go a long way.

4 Signs Your School's Bus Route Is Safe And Efficient

How long has it been since your school district updated its bus routing and tracking policies?

Is Your Bus Route Too Long? Quick Tips On How To Improve It!

It might seem obvious, but there really is no benefit to having your buses on the road any longer than they need to be.  Transportation budgets are a huge part of any business that maintains a bus fleet, and every extra minute they're on the road ultimately costs you real money.

Use Satellite Vehicle Tracking For The Best Results

One of the most frustrating parts of managing an entire fleet of vehicles is going to be the huge job of, well, managing every single vehicle. This mostly means tracking them in route and making sure that certain vehicles aren't straying away from their predefined route while also being on time to their designated destination. Rather than being completely stressed out  with the current vehicle tracking technology you have, why not use robust and enhanced satellite vehicle tracking software?

What Can A Transportation Supervisor Be Used For?

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. 

How To Find The Best School Bus Driver

Being able to find and employ some of the best school bus drivers in the area no longer means having to go through countless resumes with no rhyme or reason. There is a system in which you can find key drivers that will be able to stay focused on the road, will be on time, and be able to keep the students safe under their care. All it takes is knowing what makes a stellar school bus driver so great. This usually means picking up on cues that show they are able to take on such a huge task, while also being highly professional. Thankfully, all of these traits can be streamlined into a list that you can use to find quality school bus drivers.

How To Know If You're Properly Using A Student Tracking Sheet

Having to track hundreds or thousands of students in the past was normally a paperwork nightmare. However, with advances in technology and being able to have students digitally sign in or have other technologically advanced means a much better and efficient system for you. And when you have a highly efficient system that accurately tracks students who are attending school every day, you are able to get the kind of funding you need for your school.

Ways A School Management System Makes Your Life Easier

How are you going to be managing the thousands of students, faculty, and other staff in your school system for next year? While you could continue to go with the old fashioned way of lots of paperwork and numerous headaches, there are much simpler solutions being developed constantly that are very inexpensive and easy to implement into your own school's managing structure. In fact, there is technology out there that takes most of the guesswork out of figuring out how to manage your school, your bus routes, and your students at the fraction of the time it would take you using the "old ways." An online school management system isn't just software that will replace your job, it is a tool that will help better your job and here's why.

What Student Tracking System Is Best For Your Business?

Everyone is thinking in an ideal world where every student arrives on time to attend their classes. You can see in the faces of school authorities a big smile when they don’t have any problems with their student's school attendance. However, in reality this is not always the case. This is the reason why any school organization needs to have an efficient student tracking system to make everything perfect, and have a smiling face everyday of their lives.

4 Ways You'll Benefit From An AVL GPS System

Do you know exactly where your entire vehicle fleet is during those crucial moments? Contrary to what you might think, it is imperative that you know where all of your vehicles are while they're either en route to their destinations or even simply parked in the lot outside. This is because there are many risks that are involved with a fleet, such as a driver becoming lost, a vehicle being stolen, or even one of the vehicles being in an accident.

What Can A Transportation Supervisor Be Used For?

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. 

Improve The Efficiency Of Your Routes By Using Tracking Software

There are a million ways to get from Point A to Point B. But, there is only one that is the most efficient. When it comes to optimizing your bus routes, efficiency is what matters most. By utilizing student tracking software you can make sure each one of your bus routes is functioning as efficiently as possible.

How Can School Tracking Be A Secure Choice?

Are you still tracking school bus routes and drivers with a pen and paper? Although these methods may have worked in the good ol' days, the demands placed on school transportation systems today require more technologically advanced practices. It is because of this that a growing number of bus contractors, transportation coordinators, and school districts are turning to software-based bus routing programs and GPS tracking systems. By doing so, student safety is increased exponentially. In this post we will explore three of the many ways that student transportation can be made more secure through tracking school programs.

How A Transportation Routing Software System Lowers Costs

Budget. The big bottom line. It’s impossible not to think about it because when the buck stops so does your bus. With transportation routing software you can help lower your transportation services’ cost by helping each vehicle in your fleet operate at their peak efficiency. 

Get Your Students To School On Time With Bus Tracking

Because there are only so many hours in each school day, every second that a child is in the classroom counts. Unfortunately, when school busses get behind schedule, students are forced to arrive to school late, both detracting from their personal learning, and disrupting the rest of the class. In the past, administrators were forced to accept this, and were unable to do much about it. With modern GPS bus tracking systems, however, today's educators and school officials can keep a watchful eye on transportation schedules and make improvements to the system. Here's a look at several of the many ways that bus tracking technologies could benefit your district.

GPS Fleet Tracking Companies, What Can They Do For You?

Making your business grow by investing on a fleet of vehicles may be a great decision to reach your goal in field sales, or deliver your products more efficiently. With this huge investment, you’ll want to keep track of their whereabouts to make sure that they are always in good condition. With this aim in mind, GPS fleet tracking companies can be of great help to you in monitoring your vehicles anywhere they go.

5 Tips From A Trained Transportation Coordinator

Modern advances in technology have made life easier for just about all of us, simplifying and streamlining even routine tasks.  These advances have not bypassed our school bus service industry.

Use A School Bus Pass To Be More Efficient

One of the biggest moments of panic is that moment when a student isn't on the right bus and becomes "lost" among the huge transportation of hundreds or thousands of students at the end of a busy school day. This is a moment of panic for not only the parents that might not know their child simply went home with one of their friends or were picked up by a family member, but it is also a very stressful moment for the transportation manager and school administration who must keep all of their kids safe when the children are under their care.

5 Reasons You Need Professional Route Planning Software

Feeling the immense pressure from traditional route planning for a brand new school year? All of the maps, managing huge bus fleets, and making sure all of the students under your care are safe and get to and from school in a timely manner shouldn't leave you awake at night, especially when there is a solution that can streamline the entire process and make it so much easier for you to properly manage your route planning. This miracle solution happens to be route planning software.

Top 4 Frequently Asked Questions Of School Bus Routing Software

You probably have some questions when it comes to all of this talk of school bus routing software, especially when so many other schools are starting to use it. It's not uncommon to have questions about software when it is promising such lofty goals: better bus route management, real-time mapping solutions, and streamlined ways to make sure all of the students get where they need to safely. So, are all of these promises reality? What can you expect from route management software? Here are the top four frequently asked questions on the software and all of their answers.

GPS Vehicle Fleet Tracking- How To Know If It's Right For You

Advancements in technology have made it possible for numerous service-based businesses to track their fleets, but did you know that it's also possible for school administrators and school bus contractors to monitor their transportation units? Although maps and CB radios may have worked for school bus systems in the past, GPS fleet tracking companies are improving transportation safety and efficiency like never before. Here, we will explore which parties may benefit from school bus tracking, and what you stand to gain by utilizing systems like these. 

School Bus Contractors

Purchasing, operating, and maintaining a fleet of school busses is extremely expensive. Because of this, it is imperative that each of your drivers are as efficient as possible when transporting children to and from school. Any unscheduled stop or wasted moment could result in the loss of money, in the form of time, fuel, or unnecessary maintenance expenses. In order for your company to profit and thrive, each of your school busses must stay on course and run like clockwork.

In addition to this, your fleet must operate safely at all times. This means that your drivers are required to adhere to posted speed limits, follow all traffic laws, and stop at all railroad tracks. But how can you be sure that your drivers are doing what is necessary to achieve these objectives? GPS fleet tracking companies are the answer. A partnership with such an operation will enable you to monitor your fleet and your drivers. You'll enjoy real-time updates that will provide the locations of each school bus, the speed at which the busses are traveling, and any alerts with regards to unplanned stops or route changes. By keeping tabs on all of your vehicles, you can analyze each route for maximum efficiency and to ensure a higher profit margin. And by closely monitoring your drivers, you can promote safety and avoid costly lawsuits or liability claims. 

School Bus/Transportation Coordinators

Individuals who are entrusted with the task of designating route boundaries, creating efficient bus routes, and establishing bus stops and schedules must posses a great deal of logic, and the ability to think critically. Each of these responsibilities involve careful planning, and one mis-step could result in a child being left behind.

On top of this, these coordinators must be able to do all of this in such a way that maximizes transportation safety and efficiency while still not exceeding budgeting constrains. So wouldn't it be nice if there were a way to make these processes easier, and more accurate?

GPS fleet tracking companies can make this possible. Through embracing technology, you can stop pouring over maps and stressing about route changes as a result of weather, traffic accidents, construction zones, etc. Simplistic software solutions can help you to quickly find and establish the most direct routes, plan adequate stops, and monitor driver practices for productivity and safety.

School Administrators and Officials

In order for children to grow and be educated they must arrive to school on time each day. Unfortunately, when busses fall behind schedule, numerous children are forced to arrive tardy, and are thus cheated out of their full learning day. In previous years, educators, school administrators, and officials were unable to do much about this problem. The good news is that today, GPS fleet tracking companies are able to offer a comprehensive solution.

Bus tracking systems make it possible for individuals like yourself to closely monitor fleet activity, so that you can anticipate any route or schedule changes that may affect certain classes, school-wide assemblies, or other events. The ability to plan ahead may help teachers to avoid covering new material or departing for field trips before tardy students arrive. And when you know what's going on with a bus that is often late, you can become an activist for better, more efficient transportation for your school.

See for yourself how GPS fleet tracking companies can benefit you. 

Keep Things In Line With Vehicle Monitoring

Do you know where exactly the vehicles and drivers in your fleet are going while they're on the clock? While it might not seem like a huge deal where they might be at every hour, it is actually very important for your reports and budgeting. This is because it could mean a majority of those billable hours are being wasted or not properly utilized by the driver, making you pay in the end. Instead of being left in the dark about such crucial information, you can have the proper vehicle monitoring hardware and software so you aren't spending more money than you need to be, on top of many other reasons.

6 Reasons Why You Need Route Optimization Software

With the recent shooting tragedy that occurred in Connecticut, students’ safety in school is once again in public focus nationwide. While the tragedy may have been difficult to avoid, anyone who has the responsibility to keep the students safe in a school district should now be looking for new possible ways to guarantee their safety. It is here that route optimization software enters that aim to help school administrators protect their students.

Putting Dispatch Software To The Test

There are a lot of things which happen on a day-to-day basis which people take for granted. The mail carrier arrives to drop off and pick up the mail just as the weekly garbage truck comes by for your trash. So it is easy not to think about all those yellow school buses traveling around unless you’re stopped behind one. Few people wonder, as they wait, how do the schools know how many kids to pick up, where to pick them up and which drivers are trained for the appropriate ages of their passengers?

Improving Daily Flow With Student Tracking Software

Students going to school represent a very different problem to school districts than employees do to employers. As minors, the moment the student enters the school bus, the school district accepts responsibility for their safety and well being.

Long School Bus Rides Can Save Money, But At What Cost To The Student

Finding ways to save more money for education is always a valid and worthwhile endeavor, as there can’t be an upper price placed on your children’s education. However, whether your district chooses to consolidate the total number of schools into a smaller number consisting of larger schools, or minimize school transportation costs, can have serious effects on your most valuable commodity: your students.

Automated vs. Manual Transportation Management Services

Transportation companies around the world have been slowly awakening to the power that modern computers have to optimize and streamline their businesses. Numerous processes relating to the management of your fleet and your route planning can now be automated through software, resulting in large cost decreases.

4 Secrets To Using Route Management Software

Currently, one of the most powerful upgrades on the market for any ground transportation business looking to optimize its services is a good piece of route management software. As map analysis techniques evolve, software becomes even-better at handling complex routing problems.

Use Route Software To Keep Things On Track

School district transportation managers know: there's an amazing variety of challenges that could arise on any given day with the school's bus system. From flat tires to backed up traffic to children on the wrong bus, you need to be able to respond to challenges as they occur quickly and efficiently. With so many precious riders involved, safe response is your number one priority.

5 Skills To Look For In A Transportation Supervisor

The Job is quite demanding, and for the right reason. For a transportation manager,  the passengers are the most prized assets in the country, and the loss, injury or undesired treatment of any of them is not acceptable. In transporting students safely and efficiently, a lot of work has to be put in to anticipate every turn and incident in protecting their interests.

3 Tips To Properly Using Route Software

According to a great deal of the schools we deal with, one of their most pressing reasons for switching to route software is to enjoy the cost-savings. Modern bus routing software can be leveraged to bring savings to virtually any district, and with reports of some districts saving millions of dollars a year.

Protect Your Students And Your School With A Student Tracker

As a parent and a school administrator, your greatest concern is the safety of your kids. You need to know exactly where they are, what they are doing and what their parents are saying about where they should be. With many incidents of child abduction and kidnappings, the school and the transportation system to school and back to their homes needs to be monitored to ensure all the kids are where they are supposed to be. In order to protect your students, you need to adopt  a student tracker, which will give you an edge in making sure they are safe.

Use Bus Routing Software And See The Benefits

Given the current state of school funding in most of the nation, it can be hard for schools to find money to invest in any new technology at all. As budgets keep shrinking and continued uncertainty over NCLB more than a decade on, it's often hard enough just to keep the lights on with what you currently have.

Why Do I Need To Purchase A GSM GPS Tracker?

It's always been difficult to know when to invest in a new piece of technology. Undoubtedly, in years long past, farmers fretted over whether they could afford a McCormick reaper, or whether it really was time to buy a car and see what the livery's giving for a used horse.

Tracking Schools, Why Should You Be Keeping Tabs?

The march of progress in the past couple decades has been breathtaking. We've watched communications technologies explode, bringing the world together and putting computers everywhere. For the most part, this has been a boon for schools – teachers and administrators now have access to teaching and organizational tools that would have been unimagined thirty years ago.

4 Signs You Need New School Bus Routing Software

Timing is everything when it comes to new investments. After all, there's no time like the present crisis to get approval for projects you've needed for months!

How To Properly Use Route Planning Software

Technology has helped all sorts of industries do business much more efficiently, safely, and quickly. One of those industries happens to be transportation to schools, whether they happen to be in a major city or out in the suburbs. Route planning and management, keeping track of entire fleets of buses, and even keeping track of students who utilize bus services doesn't need to be a frustrating task or possible mess of paperwork. Instead, everything can be streamlined into one piece of software on a computer with route planning software.

What To Look For When Buying A Vehicle Monitoring System

When you're ready to take the jump into route management software and being able to keep track of entire fleets of vehicles, there are certain features that anyone should look out for in their brand new system. There are all sorts of systems that can make sure you can keep track of buses or any sort of fleet of vehicles, all of them with different services and features that can do completely different tasks. However, there are a core group of four features in any vehicle monitoring system that you can easily put on your short list right now.

3 Characteristics Of A Great Transportation Dispatcher

There are few jobs in a school district more immediately demanding and with more responsibility than that of a school's transportation dispatcher. It's an understated title, truly. They're tasked with directly overseeing the transportation and safety of hundreds or thousands of students daily. There are few other times that so many students' hands will be in the lives of so few, and the transportation dispatcher is the one directly on top of all of it.

Routing And Scheduling Software, It Helps Keep You Organized

Consider the scenario where you manage more than 100 buses in the district. You assign each bus with a primary route and another bus as a standby. While the routes are in session, you experience three breakdowns, and the communication systems that you are running break down. This means that more than 200 Children will be late for schools all around the district. Three of your drivers call in sick, and you cannot get all of the standbys in, they are either unavailable or will get in too late. You switch to contingency and reroute about six buses for the morning schedule that were planned for the afternoon. Your schedule has been disrupted, you're quickly losing time, a few school principals have made calls wondering about the status of some of their kids, you begin to lose your patience as you bark at your staff to deploy the emergency vehicles to make sure everything is running OK.

4 Ways To Use A Student Tracking Sheet

As scholastic technology and techniques continue to move into the future, offering educators and administrators access to unprecedented tools with which to do their jobs, a few "old-school" methods remain the most effective way to accomplish certain tasks. One of those methods is the student tracking sheet: a simple, yet versatile, tool to assist with scholastic administration. 

Purchase Dispatch Software For Live Communication

A very stressful moment for both the driver in the fleet and the transportation team keeping track of the fleet is that moment of no communication. Whether it is because there's a problem with the radios or phones currently implemented or something else entirely, you need to be prepared with communication technology that won't suddenly fail or break contact with the fleet. There are several different ways to ensure this, but one of the best methods happens to be dispatch software.

Tracker Tracking Systems Will Never Let You Down

In any transportation system, you want to make sure that all the critical stages of your passengers and vehicles are met with precision, or at least tolerable. In school transportation systems, there are two factors that are critical to observe:

How Can My District Benefit By Hiring A Transportation Manager?

One of the most critical tasks in any School District is managing the transportation system that gets school children to and from school and home and other planned locations.  This  is an immense responsibility and many critical factors to consider. When the system is not coordinated, a whole lot of challenges may be imminent. As a parent, or School Principal, you would want to have some notion of control as to where and when the children are at any point of the day when they are involved in transit.  You would want to have one number to call to get updates on safety, reported issues and new students who would need transportation services to and from school. You would also want assurances that the drivers responsible for your children's transportation are certified to handle the vehicle, and have the right training and attitude. These are some of the issues that can be handled by a Transportation Manager.

How To Properly Use Transport Software

Running a good transport software solution for your school district’s transportation needs shouldn’t break the bank. And it shouldn’t take a degree in computer science to operate, either.  There are a lot of affordable transport and routing software options out there, but they won’t be much help to you if you don’t understand how to properly use them.  The main thing to know is that the more details you input into the software, the more effective it will be. But let’s look at the steps in more detail:

Keep Your Employees Organized With Bus Routing Software

We bill our BusBoss software as bus routing software, but the truth is, it goes far beyond simply scheduling buses. As more schools move towards entirely computer-based solutions for running their operations, there's a real need for software that performs more than one task. The more functionality a piece of software can provide a district, the more value it provides.

3 Reasons To Use GPS Vehicle Routing Software

GPS systems have totally changed how vehicle fleets are managed in the 21st century. Rather than having to rely on radio contact and guesswork to keep tabs on drivers and vehicles, it's now possible to have live accurate updates on your buses where ever they go. These GPS systems, no different than the ones in cars these days, give you constant updates through software on the whereabouts of your buses.

4 Times You'll Want To Get Student Tracking Software

Student tracking software is a new technology that's arrived just in time for schools looking to meet the demands of a 21st Century school system.

4 Myths About Transportation Management Services

In transportortation management services, sometimes popular belief might be easy to accept than fact, especially since the services are directly related to the safety of children, a top agenda for the country. In appeasing the public perception, situations are often mitigated in light of such beliefs, entire budgets and strategies can be altered to protect the myths in transportation management services. While some of the myths are based on some element of truth, they might prove unreliable in certain situations when you need to make decisions, or when faced with a challenge concerning the safety of your students. Here are some of the myths that may lead to decisions or strategies that may not necessary add value to the district transportation management service:

If You Need Organization, You Need A Transportation Manager

There is no fully autonomous system; even the most sophisticated applications for technology are fully dependent on the expertise of human resources. This is especially true of transportation services, where the intervention of a transportation manager is essential because of the obvious human element in the system, therefore there must be a place that counters and ensures all situations respond to predefined efforts for time management and accountability. Due to the intricate nature of a school transportation system, the inclusion of a transportation manager is not just the inevitable choice, but a valuable decision in managing the various aspects of the system.

What's The Purpose Of Student Management?

The main objective at the end of the day for any school is the dissemination of information in an environment that encourages accountability, relevance and retention of the information gathered.  Such are the main objectives of a school administrator, who, as a student manager, is charged with allowing this opportunity and environment to occur on behalf of the students. Here are some of the goals and roles of student management:

Why Do Companies Need Updated Transport Software?

Transportation software increases the viability for efficiency and in meeting your company's logistical goals. Your transportation system is possibly your most critical organ in the entire organization that needs constant monitoring and management. Since the scenarios and constraints are constantly changing, it is important that you have updated transport software to meet your goals:

3 Reasons To Use Route Software

Depending on how long you've been working in schools, you might remember the “good” old days when bus route planning was done by hand. The transportation coordinator stayed up late at night using pushpins and string on a map to try to create bus routes. And, sure, it worked... but it was hardly the most efficient way of planning routes.

4 Tips To Using School Bus Routing Software

If you've recently purchased new school bus routing software – which is an excellent idea, by the way – it may be hard for you to get a handle on all the new features of the software package. While the basic interface is simple enough for anyone to learn within minutes, there are still plenty of ways that power users can get more out of the system.

Reasons To Consider Hiring A Transportation Coordinator

Let's be honest, these are tough times to be involved in school management. Pressures are mounting on all sides, with very few release valves available. School budgets are constantly being cut, so you have to make do with less each year, or so it seems. Yet, at the same time, the parents seem to demand more and more, especially when it comes to the safety of their children. This is totally reasonable, of course, but it still creates a fundamental problem:

3 Signs You Need Route Management Software

Are you having a hard time managing and optimizing your school's transportation systems?

Ensure Security With A Student Tracker

Even beyond providing an education, arguably the single most important thing for a school to do is ensure the safety of the students in its care. Every day, over a hundred million parents trust their children to your care for most of the day, and it's absolutely vital that you do everything possible to ensure their children remain safe.

What Types Of Businesses Should Use Route Software?

We've come a long way with transportation systems in the last few decades. Virtually anyone reading this likely remembers the days before GPS systems and computer-based mapping. After all, the standard GPS systems only officially went online in 1994! (It seems like longer, doesn't it?)

3 Signs You Need A Better System For Tracking School

In days past, back when school systems had better finances, gas prices were reasonable and parents had actual relationships with their children’s school bus drivers, there was little need for tracking school buses and other transportation.

Tracker Tracking Systems Help Monitor Driver Compliance

Have you ever wished you could keep better tabs on your drivers while they're on the road?

5 Skills To Look For In A Transportation Supervisor

The Job is quite demanding, and for the right reason. For a transportation manager,  the passengers are the most prized assets in the country, and the loss, injury or undesired treatment of any of them is not acceptable. In transporting students safely and efficiently, a lot of work has to be put in to anticipate every turn and incident in protecting their interests.

Why Should I Implement A School Bus Pass System?

The responsibility that comes from running a school bus system is enormous. Every day, hundreds or thousands of parents trust you with the single most precious thing in their lives, believing that you'll get their children to and from school without incident. And, on the whole, this is what happens.

How To Properly Use Transport Software

Running a good transport software solution for your school district’s transportation needs shouldn’t break the bank. And it shouldn’t take a degree in computer science to operate, either.  There are a lot of affordable transport and routing software options out there, but they won’t be much help to you if you don’t understand how to properly use them.  The main thing to know is that the more details you input into the software, the more effective it will be. But let’s look at the steps in more detail:

Routing And Scheduling Software, It Helps Keep You Organized

Consider the scenario where you manage more than 100 buses in the district. You assign each bus with a primary route and another bus as a standby. While the routes are in session, you experience three breakdowns, and the communication systems that you are running break down. This means that more than 200 Children will be late for school all around the district. Three of your drivers call in sick, and you cannot get all of the standbys in, they are either unavailable or will get in too late. You switch to contingency and reroute about six buses for the morning schedule that were planned for the afternoon. Your schedule has been disrupted, you're quickly losing time, a few school principals have made calls wondering about the status of some of their kids, you begin to lose your patience as you bark at your staff to deploy the emergency vehicles to make sure everything is running OK.

Protect Your Students And Your School With A Student Tracker

As a parent and a school administrator, your greatest concern is the safety of your kids. You need to know exactly where they are, what they are doing and what their parents are saying about where they should be. With many incidents of child abduction and kidnappings, the school and the transportation system to school and back to their homes needs to be monitored to ensure all the kids are where they are supposed to be. In order to protect your students, you need to adopt a student tracker, which will give you an edge in making sure they are safe.

3 Reasons To Use A GSM GPS Tracker

With so many different advances in technology, being able to expertly manage and coordinate an entire fleet of vehicles has become much easier. Busses and vans can be individually tracked on a live-updated map which can show highly detailed information about neighborhoods, major roads, landmarks, and other important markers. It can also help track the consumption of gas for budgeting as well as making sure that all vehicles are on the right track and on time. All from the updates technology and a GSM GPS tracker has brought us.

Reasons To Consider Hiring A Transportation Coordinator

Let's be honest, these are tough times to be involved in school management. Pressures are mounting on all sides, with very few release valves available. School budgets are constantly being cut, so you have to make do with less each year, or so it seems. Yet, at the same time, the parents seem to demand more and more, especially when it comes to the safety of their children. This is totally reasonable, of course, but it still creates a fundamental problem:

3 Signs You Need A Better System For Tracking School

In days past, back when school systems had better finances, gas prices were reasonable and parents had actual relationships with their children’s school bus drivers, there was little need for tracking school buses and other transportation.

Why You Should Purchase Tracker Tracking Systems

With so many responsibilities that need to be taken care of throughout the day (or even during the entire week), the last thing a transportation supervisor wants to deal with is a stolen vehicle.

3 Ways To Get Things Under Control With Route Management Software

One of the most frustrating and difficult responsibilities when it comes to managing an entire fleet of transportation vehicles, whether it is cars or buses, is making sure that all of those vehicles are where they need to be, on time, and don't have any missing students. There is, of course, much more to it than just those responsibilities, but the biggest one is undeniably making sure that transportation is efficient and inexpensive while still providing a helpful resource to students and parents alike.

5 Ways A GSM GPS Tracker Can Be Used

Traditionally, school districts are hesitant to invest in new technology. There are a number of reasons for this, with the cost of new tech being among the most pressing. Without donations of machines, it's difficult for a school to afford to outfit itself with new technologies as they become available.

Route Planning Software: Keeping You Organized

Organization is one of the key factors in making sure that all of your route management and transportation fleet reporting is under control and as efficient as possible. But sometimes things can go awry and suddenly that organized system isn't working anymore, or is too much to handle and needs to be re-organized for the sake of money and time.

4 Tips To Using Route Software

Technology and software is becoming such a commonplace part within life that it is almost hard to believe how we were able to get work done in the years before computers and computer software. But now things have become much easier and much more convenient all from the information right in front of you on your screen and at your fingertips, and it's only going to become even easier and more convenient as time goes by.

5 Ways To Use Routing And Scheduling Software

Gone are the days of having to use pen, paper, and manually putting in reports for an entire fleet of buses. Say goodbye to the ways of having to chart through large maps and use push-pins--now, you can easily keep track of everything, from routing to scheduling to the children on the buses themselves, with the aid of routing and scheduling software all at your fingertips.

3 Reasons For Joining The Tracking Schools

One of the most contentious issues in current American school politics is the matter of the “tracking schools.” Led by experiments in Texas that are being replicated worldwide, these are schools that have begun actively using GPS and RFID tracking technology to “watch” their students and their buses everywhere they go within the school system.

6 Characteristics Of A Great School Bus Driver

A great group of bus drivers means that you can have one of the best fleets to manage, making it easier for you to do your job and stay on route with schedules and plans. However, being able to create that group and find those highly professional bus drivers that can handle the stress and responsibilities of being a driver can take a little time to put together. Usually it means looking at resumes and credentials and other such things, but there are also some personality characteristics and other things that can't be found on a resume that need to be addressed, too.

What To Expect From Transportation Management Services

With budgets being crunched around the nation, any enterprise that maintains a vehicle fleet has to be extremely careful about how they spend their money. From private businesses to haulage companies to public schools: your vehicles are one of your biggest investments, one of your biggest maintenance sinks, AND potentially one of your biggest liabilities.

Transport Software: Step By Step Directions To Using It

There are a lot of transport software solutions on the market today, aimed at enterprises at various levels of proficiency. However, when we were developing our Transport Software we realized that the most powerful software in the world really isn't much help if it's hard to use. School districts are on tight budgets. You need software that anyone in your administration can use, not something that requires a computer expert.

What To Look For In A Transportation Supervisor

As transportation systems become more complex, handling their management and oversight similarly becomes a more complex task. In the past, you may have done well enough scheduling and routing your vehicles with strings and pushpins on maps, and using simple radio (or cell phone) contact to keep in touch with drivers on the road.

Do You Need A Student Tracking System?

One of the biggest fears of transportation coordinators, school administrators, parents, and even school bus drivers, is a missing child during the transportation to and from school. While it may be uncommon to have a missing child issue during the entirety of your career, it can still happen. All schools have their own "what if" scenarios planned out and ready to be utilized should such a thing happen, and normally these sort of contingency plans are created early to make sure that everyone involved is safe and found.

Helpful Tips For Vehicle Monitoring

If you're responsible for overseeing school bus operations – or any sort of fleet of land vehicles – I don't have to tell you what a challenging task it is. Your cargo is beyond precious, you have potentially hundreds or thousands of “clients” (parents) to answer to, and in the meantime, you have to constantly do everything you can do to keep costs down. But without compromising safety, of course.

Why Tracking School Transportation Is Really Important

In the old days, tracking school transportation and creating routes may have been done with pen and paper, but times have changed. Fortunately, this process has been revolutionized with the implementation of top notch software and GPS  tracking systems. This makes tracking more efficient and provides greater detail. But, why exactly is tracking schools transportation so important?

What To Do With A School Bus Pass

The school bus pass is not normally considered by most administration, especially when they have so much to worry about and take responsibility for. However, school bus passes are quite important for their highly simple way of making sure that no student is forgotten during the transportation process and is safely taken to their destination with ease.

GPS Fleet Tracking Companies: Why You Need Them

For many businesses, the single most powerful tool that computing has brought them is optimization. In most industries, we're still using fundamentally the same processes and ideas that we've been using for decades, but computers allow us to do them better. The ability to crunch massive amounts of data and turn it into actionable intelligence is truly astounding.

Tracking Schools: Are You Doing It Properly?

Being able to track all of the schools in your area can feel like a tough job, but thankfully routing software takes the guess work--and most of the hard work--out of the equation so you can focus on other responsibilities that need your attention. Tracking school integration can be found in most bus routing management software, but it's going to be different for each type of software. One might be more comprehensive than the other, for example.

Satellite Vehicle Tracking: It's More Important Than You'd Think

Do you know where your fleet is at all times? While it may sound impossible, it is actually quite possible to be able to know exactly where your entire fleet is even when part of it might be parked somewhere and another in-use and going along with all of their different routes and schedules. And it doesn't mean having to check in with each individual vehicle via radio or telephone any longer.  It can simply mean checking a computer screen for all of their updated location and historical routing information.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Transportation Coordinator

A transportation coordinator's job is a round the clock operation. The job entails many different duties and often times involves taking on the tasks of multiple positions. They have numerous responsibilities and must answer to their manager, school staff and parents when issues arise. Needless to say then that their job should not be taken lightly. Therefore, how do you get the most out of your transportation coordinator?

School Management System: How It Should Operate

The ways to harness technology to make your school run more smoothly and more safely are expanding quickly.  Just a couple decades ago, it was still standard to see school districts doing most of their record-keeping by hand:  drawing bus routes with lines on a map, doing attendance on paper, and still keeping class scores in physical grade books.

Ways To Organize Your Student Management

Chances are, your student management is organized, in some fashion, with a student database at the center of it.  You have a list of students, and you go from there: they get use to routine bus routes, to classes, and so forth.  That's the standard way.

Benefits To Using AVL GPS

With the recent tragedy in Connecticut, public school safety is once again among the most important discussions in the nation. While the Newtown shooting may not have been easily avoided, anyone with responsibility in a school district should be looking for new ways to help guarantee the safety of their own students. Parents and children both are going to be worried about being properly protected, so this is a good time to look towards new safety features.

How To Use Bus Tracking Correctly

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.

Why You Should Install GPS Vehicle Fleet Tracking

Now is an especially good time to be asking yourself: Are my school district's buses as safe for students to ride as they can be?

Route Optimization Services - What Should I Expect?

Route Optimization Services - What should I expect?

Use A Vehicle Monitoring System To Stay Organized

One of the most difficult tasks when it comes to managing dozens of vehicles and drivers is the nightmare of having unorganized documents on all of that routing data and information. Missing documents can mean a very bad time when it comes to reporting, auditing, and redistricting and could potentially mean losing your job if the organization is really bad. Instead of having to spend so much time properly categorizing and cataloguing all of the work that goes into route management, let the computer do it for you with the help of a vehicle monitoring system.

Stay In The Know With School Bus Routing Software

Whether you are the school administrator and handling thousands of students and hundreds of faculty, a transportation director overseeing all of the bus routes and drivers, superintendent, or even a business manager, having up to date information to ensure the safety of all the students under your care is more than likely a top priority. Back in the old days, making sure all students who used the bus system to get to and from school wasn't as efficient and meant a lot of paperwork and manually keeping track of dozens of bus routes.

Using Your Vehicle Routing Software To Get The Big Bucks

Running any sort of contracted school bus service is a difficult job, with razor-thin profit margins.  Far too many schools are seeing their budgets cut every year, putting more pressure on you to squeeze as much as you possibly can out of your fleets and systems. 

What Do You Use A Student Tracking System For?

You've probably been aware of a debate in recent years over student tracking.  An increasing number of schools have begun issuing their students mandatory ID cards to track them throughout school property, or even on the school bus.

Getting Schooled With A School Bus Driver

I  have nothing but sympathy for school bus drivers.  It really has to be one of the most stressful and demanding jobs on the planet.  I might not know first-hand, but I have the next-best thing.  My mother was a school bus driver for several years, and I'll never forget her stories of just how tough the job can be.

How To Keep Tabs With A Student Tracking Sheet

Despite all the advances in bus tracking, bus routing software, and organization, sometimes the traditional solutions are still the best.

6 Proper Uses For GPS Vehicle Fleet Tracking Systems

With schools constantly seeing their budgets slashed, you're undoubtedly feeling the pinch yourself if you're in the business of providing school bus services.  Economization is the name of the game across our school districts, from bus drivers to teachers.  If you want to stay competitive and keep your profit edge, you need to be able to guarantee the best results with the least waste.

How To Know Your School Management System Needs An Upgrade

It's hard to believe that just a few decades ago, all school record-keeping was done by hand.  Today, a good database-driven school management system is absolutely a necessity.  Between the proliferation of helicopter parenting and ever-increasing societal fears for our youth, you basically cannot lose track of a student for more than a few minutes.

How To Use A Transportation Dispatcher To Their Full Potential

In the hugely competitive marketplace we face today, it is critical for savvy Transportation Directors, Superintendents, and Business Managers to better manage every single business process from your transportation equipment to your drivers to your transportation dispatcher.  For example, in fields like bussing, there are several ways you can streamline the work of your dispatchers to ensure they are operating at optimal potential.

Signs You Need New Route Planning Software

As technology becomes even more integrated into daily life, it will become even more commonplace when it comes to tracking routes and school buses. Instead of having to configure bus routes and distances students walk to the closest bus manually and potentially making errors, routing software is making sure everything is efficient, cost-effective, and keeps the kids part of the bus system safe. But, what happens when your routing software starts to become obsolete, or simply isn't working for you?

Transportation Routing Software: Keeping Your Employees On Track

Having to manage an entire fleet of vehicles can be difficult when data has to be tracked manually, on top of making sure all of the employees utilizing the fleet are where they need to be and being properly tracked. Instead of having to manually pencil in all of that information and keeping track of paperwork, all of those physical documents can be transferred to digital with transportation routing software.

How To Make Bus Routing Software Work For You

The greatest thing about bus management and routing these days is the ability to complete everything through technology and software. You don't have to worry about the mountains of paperwork that goes into tracking students, distances to different bus routes, making sure buses are on time, and a bunch of other responsibilities.

Vehicle Monitoring System: 5 Ways Not To Use It

Back in the old days, keeping track of each individual vehicle's gas consumption, mileage, and possibly repairs meant a lot of reports, careful tracking, and possible human errors in the system. And when it comes to bigger fleets of buses that are transporting kids everyday, having to track and monitor each bus was especially difficult. Unfortunately, things couldn't be as efficient, but now we have the ability to keep track of an entire fleet through technology and save money while doing it.

Why Your Company Needs Better Dispatch Software

Before we begin this blog, I just wanted to say something:  Thank you, school bus managers and school transportation officers.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Route Optimization Software

If you're in the business of planning a school's bus schedule, we don't have to tell you how demanding the job is.  Hundreds or thousands of children rely on you to get to and from school safely, and if any of them are even a few minutes late, you'll be hearing about it from panicked parents.

5 Reasons You Need Student Tracking Software

Student tracking software is a necessity, the most accurate and effective way to keep children safe and to minimize today’s extraordinary transportation costs. Whether you’re the business manager, transportation director, the superintendent of a school district, a dispatcher, or a parent, there are five vital reasons to implement student tracker software, such as Orbit’s BusBoss.

Transportation Costs Impact on School Budgets

Transportation Costs Impact on School Budgets

School transportation costs eat a huge chunk of any schools budget. The cost of transporting kids to school needs to be reduced.

Because there is such a high impact on school budgets from school transportation costs, school buses could soon become scarce. This could save the government millions of dollars, however it leaves parents and educators worried about the potential danger this will pose to children going to and from school.

This also makes life difficult for the decision makers namely school bus routing contractors, vehicle routing coordinators and school bus transportation staff in general. If you are in this type of employment then it is very likely that you will feel the brunt of any animosity from parents. It's a no win situation for you.

School buses vs. Parent Transport;

Whenever schools are facing financial troubles, it is usually the school transportation costs that need to be reduced. School bus routing contractors will need to ensure that their decisions are made for the greater good of the pupils as a whole. They will need to analyze fuel costs and mileages to cut the school transportation costs without making it too difficult for students to attend school. No matter what they decide there is a very high probability that school buses will be replaced by parent's vehicles. If this happens the traffic on the roads will increase significantly, which in turn will have a negative impact on health and the environment.

School Bus Routing Alternative;

Vehicle routing coordinators have a hard task ahead of them, however you are not alone. In recent years here has been a lot of research into how schools can cope with their buses being cut. As a result of this research the safe routes to school national partnership have come up with a strategic plan that will be in affect from 2011-2015. 

The safe routes to school national partnership consists of 21 organizations and agencies. Parents, local government and police work together to ensure the safety of children on the trip to and from school.


October is International Walk To School Month.  Register your event or Map-a-route for your school.  Remember, safety first.  Public bus transportation may also be more cost effective, while reducing the number of vehicles on the road. 


To conclude;

Although there may not be as many buses available due to cuts in school transportation costs, it would seem that parents and communities are coming together, walking or cycling to school which is definitely healthier for all concerned.

Are you looking for ways to reduce costs by minimizing buses?  We can help.


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When Does Ensuring Child Stability Require Bus Routing?

We are currently living in the era of speed and mobility. While this can have numerous economical advantages, things are not always positive when it comes to children’s education. For the little ones, stability is very important and the lack of it can seriously impact their psychological and intellectual development. This is why, when the shift in your family’s residence allows it, parents should do their best to let kids attend the same school, even if it requires the use of public or private transportation. However, the choice of the preferred means of transport is not so easy. Here are some aspects to consider:

GPS Vehicle Tracking: Strengthening Trust While Reducing Costs

When concerned parents are waiting for the school bus, every passing second is a potential moment for panic.

Commonly Asked Questions about Managing Field Trips

In the interest of helping you accurately estimate school transportation
costs in the event of any planned field trips, it is instructive to review a short compendium of the most common questions asked by administrators and field-trip coordinators nationwide. Preparing for these actually tends to reduce school transportation costs because the answers facilitate better planning before the request for buses goes out, as well as make the field trip process more efficient overall.

Fine Tune Your Transportation Services Using Vehicle Routing Software

In today's economy, every penny counts. With dwindling budgets, public schools are forced to cut corners wherever possible. This may include changing school schedules, to accommodate two tiers per bus, or finding ways to make a route more cost effective.

One way for the latter is vehicle routing software. With this little gem, many facets of the bus routes may be examined. It can include documenting driving behaviors or recording driving times. For instance:

School Districts Take Steps to Reduce Their Transportation Costs

With rising gas prices and decreasing school budgets, minimizing school bus transportation costs has never been more beneficial to a school than now. Because of the great variability in how much you might get from one year to the next for transportation costs, you may end up taking money from other school functions to help make up the slack. Since this is inevitably barring new legislation, it is a good idea to try your best to optimize the school transportation costs, by employing a handful of practices:

GPS Vehicle Tracking System Enhances Safety and Cuts Costs

Even though it has gotten a bad reputation and caused a lot of controversy, GPS vehicle tracking is simply a way for companies to ensure the safety of their drivers. Despite what many people think, companies do not impose GPS tracking on their drivers to invade their privacy or convey distrust of the employee by the company.

Advantages of GPS Vehicle Tracking

School Transportation Costs Drive Districts Toward Change

With school transportation costs rising, many public schools are beginning to make drastic changes to their transportation polices. The more the schools must depend on themselves and less on government funding, the burden of school transportation costs falls to schools and parents alike.

For instance, in the case of Westford Public Schools in Massachusetts, they are requiring a fee for allowing children within two miles of the school to ride the bus. At present, those who live outside a two-mile radius are still allowed to ride without a fee. However, all students are required to have bus passes. These can range from $225 to $600, depending on how many children from each family are riding.

Whereas, Jeffco Public Schools in Colorado are charging students $150 per student for all those who ride. Children who are within walking distance of the school will be required to pay $200, but will be allowed only if there is room. Kindergartners, either half- or full-day students will be required to pay between $75 to $100, depending on whether they attend the neighborhood schools or an optional one.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District has taken a different view, in hopes of reducing the school transportation costs. The bus schedules have been tiered, to allow the same bus to cover two different routes. This reduces the number of buses and personnel required. However, this also changes the daily schedule for the school, of when they begin and end for the day. They also require that children attending option schools, instead of neighborhood schools, be transported by the parents. There have even been changes in the boundaries for which areas will be serviced by the neighborhood schools. The Kenai Schools also are reducing their driver contracts from five years to one year, in hope of finding more ways to reduce costs, without commitments to employees. This way, they are able to see if merely changing schedules and using fewer buses will reduce school transportation costs significantly enough to keep their doors open.

Are there ways that you have found that work? Has there been a situation where an idea has been tried and did not work? It may be helpful for different schools to share some ideas, in order to reduce the trial and error stage of trying to save money on school transportation costs. In this economy, every little bit helps and schools need all the help they can get.

School Transportation Costs, Policies and Practices: A Review of ...

School Transportation Costs, Policies and Practices: A review of …

School transportation routes and therefore costs will change at the start of the 2012 - 2013 school year.  If your child is enrolled at a primary school, you should read this very important information. 

As School District and Department of Education policies can vary in how they deal with transportation cuts we are using California as an example.  If you need information from a specific school district we can add links, as requested.  Bus schedules and routes will be changing nationwide, the following is a review of some of the expected changes.

California Governor Brown's budget which cuts school transportation costs has left parents and schools extremely worried. The Department of Education thinks the best way to deal with the cuts is to increase school bus fees for those who pay and change the eligibility of those who normally get to ride the bus for free. It seems that they think doing this will reduce the number of children riding the bus. Meaning many students will need to walk, cycle or be driven to school.

If your child is eligible to ride on the school bus through CSR, (Corporate Social Responsibility), they no longer will be because the CSR will no longer be available. 

The California State Board of Education approved plan for school transportation costs 2012-2013;

Strategies for Saving School Bus Energy...

School bus transportation is one of the main forms of mass transit in the United States. This transportation program provides great savings in fuel costs as large numbers of students ride in one school bus as opposed to small numbers of students riding in cars. School buses are also one of the safest forms of transportation available.

Pros and cons of GPS Vehicle Tracking...

GPS vehicle tracking has become a popular way for employers to monitor employees who's job depends on driving and for the parents of teenage drivers to monitor where the teens are driving. There are a few pros and cons to using vehicle tracking through a GPS system. 

SIF Agent 2.0r1

For those that don't know, SIF is an acronym for Schools Interoperability Framework.  SIF is a specifications that defines how software applications for K-12 school systems exchange data.

School Bus Drivers Deserve Our Respect

Every day you trust them with the lives of your children.  There are approximately 480,000 buses transporting students.  This means there are at least 480,000 bus drivers.  In reality, there is more than that because each school district needs substitute bus drivers.  With half a million drivers, there’s likely to be some that are better than others.  On average, each bus transports approximately 50 students.

School Bus Safety: Know Your Drivers

Every day we trust school bus drivers all across the country to safely transport our children to and from school and any programs in between.  Most of us probably never give it a second thought. I just read an article that explains how a 17 year old passenger on a school bus prevented a traffic accident which would certainly have resulted in passenger injuries or maybe even deaths.

School Bus Safety: Don’t Turn That Bus Around

School buses are big.  Really big! Whenever a school bus needs to turn around, especially when backing up, the potential for an accident is a lot higher.  There are quite a few blind spots at the back of the bus that could prevent the driver from seeing a parked car or even a child.

School Bus Safety: Special Medical Condition Reports


Nobody likes to think about accidents or medical emergencies, especially when you’re also thinking about school buses and students.  Accidents do happen.  Medical emergencies do happen.  It’s important that we prepare for them.  One important thing you can do is to make sure you have details of each student’s special medical conditions on the school bus.

School Bus Safety: Tracking Student Incidents

School Bus Safety is an often neglected topic for many people, which is unfortunate because millions of students are transported daily on school buses.  We have a civic responsibility to promote school bus safety whenever, and wherever, we can.

Is Your School Bus Stop Safe?

In a previous post, I talked about registered sex offenders that may live near your child’s bus stop "Are There Sex Offenders Near My Child's School Bus Stop". This is important to know, but it doesn’t mention other threats that may exist for your children.

BusBoss: School Bus Routing Software Backups

It’s happened again.  A customer called recently saying that their server crashed and now they need help getting BusBoss back up and running.  If your Transportation Management Software does not have backup and restore functionality, please take a close look at BusBoss.

Bus Routing - Dealing With School Bus Conflicts

Bus Software - Display Dead Ends to Find Map Problems

School bus route optimization requires accurate map data.  Different map sources are available but there are several aspects of map data that determines its quality.

Use School Attendance Zone/Boundary to Save Money

What is a Zone or Boundary?

School Bus Route Optimization


Fleet Optimization was never one of my favorite subjects when it came to BusBoss.  However, as the years have gone by this functionality has greatly improved. I would recommend this to anyone who asks me where to start when creating new routes.

Top 10 Reasons for Using School Bus Routing Software

Are you transporting students on buses? What about vans? If you are, then you should be using school bus routing software.  It does not matter if you have 1 bus or 1,000 buses, you should be using bus routing software to manage your bus fleet.

Are There Sex Offenders Near My Child’s School Bus Stop?

Many states have laws that prevent registered sex offenders from living too close to schools and parks, but I am not aware of any that restricts their residence based on bus stop location.  Given that suburban and rural America is splattered with bus stops, it is extremely likely that there are registered sex offenders that live near school bus stops.  Registered sex offenders can move just like anyone else.  When was the last time you checked for registered sex offenders near your child’s bus stop?

School Bus Route Planning

When you are planning your bus routes, what are you thinking about?  I suspect that most transportation directors are thinking about accommodating all of their students and “hoping” that they won’t need to add additional buses.

School Bus Passes and Fees

The use of school bus passes is becoming more prevalent over time.  Bus passes are primarily used for students to get on their assigned school bus.  They are usually required when students are expected to pay for their school bus transportation.  Printing bus passes cane be relatively expensive, but in a “pay to ride” situation, they are required so that drivers will know who should and should not be allowed on the bus.

Court Ordered Split Custody School Bus Routing

As a transportation director, you have many responsibilities.  Accommodating court ordered split custody school bus routing is just another one of them.  While you may find this to be a nuisance, there is school transportation management software available that can help keep track of it all.  

School Bus Route Optimization: What is it and Why do I care?


School Bus Route Optimization is a process where the transportation director at a school generates a set of bus routes that ensures all students are transported to their required school on time.

Respect Your Transportation Director

If a transportation director is doing their job properly, they are often times forgotten about and left to the side lines.  These people are responsible for a large percentage of the school district’s budget, and are often the focus of budget cuts.

7 Questions to ask about School Transportation Management Software

After deciding that you need School Transportation Management Software, your next task is to decide which one to purchase. This is an important decision because you do not want to waste your valuable time and money.


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