Student Bus Transportation: Four Goals for 2018
published on January 23, 2018 by Sonia Mastros
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...
Four Great Student Bus Transportation Goals for 2018
- Decrease fuel usage
Using less fuel is a goal literally everyone can agree on. It’s good for your budget and good for your planet. The exact percentage you set for your goal will depend on your existing levels of optimization, but there are plenty of ways to go about it:
- Encourage smarter driving, like avoiding idling or rapid acceleration.
- Discourage use of cruise control.
- Look into installing newer and more efficient engines.
- Keep tires well-maintained and fully inflated. Retreaded tires will pay for themselves quickly!
- Maintain axle and wheel lubrication.
- Optimize your routes
If you’re planning your routes by hand, it could be so much easier. Software solutions for route-planning are affordable and able to calculate highly-efficient routes in a matter of seconds. You’ll save time and manpower in planning and ongoing use. This is another great way to improve your fuel economy! In best-case scenarios, you might even be able to cut one or more routes by optimizing the others and get huge savings as a payoff.
- Improve on-bus safety
Sure, you’re undoubtedly doing the what’s required by law, but when is the last time you’ve invested money in improved safety? This is something that would be pretty easy to talk the PTA into supporting. There are too many options here to name, but a few ideas might be:
- Seatbelts, which are increasingly being reconsidered as an option
- On-board video cameras
- RFID student tracking devices
- GPS systems for precisely monitoring bus positioning
- Stop-arm cameras to identify drivers illegally ignoring stop-arms
- Better community outreach
Speaking of drivers ignoring the stop-arm cameras, when is the last time your district did some community work, teaching local people about your bus system? Even without installing cameras, you could still get some results by hosting an open house or encouraging outreach from groups like the School Board or PTA. Help local motorists understand proper and legal behavior around school buses, and why it’s so important they take responsibility for keeping student riders safe.
Those are our ideas; what are yours? Do you have any innovative plans for your transportation system in 2018? Let the world know in the comments below!