Bus Route Optimization: Finding the Most Logical Solution to Save Money
published on February 02, 2016 by Sonia Mastros
bus routing, bus route optimization, school bus routing software, fleet optimization, school bus fleet optimization
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.
What is Bus Route Optimization?
Bus route optimization is a process that uses hypothetical bus routes, based on current stop locations, school assignments, timing and maximum bus loads to determine how to maximize the efficiency of your bus fleet. Because of the cost-saving benefits, many school districts are now demanding that transportation departments consider route optimization.
Routes can be configured to minimize the cost of fuel, staffing and idle time, while considering road hazards, safety concerns and district transportation policies. In the past, this was done by using an outdated system of wall maps; however, today’s technology has streamlined this process, making it easier than ever before. School districts across North America are utilizing bus routing software to optimize their routes.
What is Bus Routing Software?
Bus routing software includes tools that automatically generate optimal routes, utilizing user-identified criteria. These routes are analyzed against your current routes to determine if more logical alternatives exist.
The software considers stop locations, turn, height and weight restrictions based on vehicle size, and mandated right-sided pickups for certain student populations. Some bus routing programs and software add-ons allow you to automatically determine the best stop locations for each student, based on enrollment, boundaries and walk-to-stop distances.
Why Consider Bus Route Optimization?
The end-goal of bus route optimization is to reduce the number of drivers and school buses that your district needs to run your routes. You save money by keeping fuel and staffing costs at a minimum. Bus routing also has another beneficial side-effect—it keeps students safe. By taking into consideration hazards, stop locations and even sex-offender addresses, the software maximizes student security.
If you’d like to hear more about school bus fleet routing optimization, contact our transportation professionals. We’d be glad to discuss the many options that are available for your district. By utilizing targeted school transportation software, your district can ease the minds of parents and administrators, save money, and ensure the safety of each and every student entrusted to your care.
Photo by James R. Martin at Shutterstock
How has your school district cut costs by optimizing its bus routes? Please share your comments with us.