Without school bus drivers, no school district would have a successful transportation program. Many districts already understand that route optimization software benefits their program with more efficient bus routes and increased student safety.
However, GPS vehicle tracking and route software also make the day-to-day work of transporting students easier for school bus drivers. Vehicle tracking and the numerous other features of routing software solve bus drivers’ daily challenges.
The number of substitute drivers a school district employs depends on how many total drivers work for the district. Usually, there are not enough substitute drivers.
While a bus driver’s absence may seem like an inconvenience, every driver deserves to take a vacation, and most people encounter personal problems or fall ill with a cold or the flu at some point during the year.
Route optimization software makes it easier for standby substitute drivers to take over a route. Additionally, it facilitates the splitting up of school bus routes among regular bus drivers so every child receives a ride to and from school.
Due to the common deficit of substitute school bus drivers, the district transportation director or transportation secretary may sometimes need to drive routes for drivers who are absent.
All drivers must be licensed with CDL licensing, and many employees find it helpful to pre-run the routes before school begins so they understand the routes and have experience driving them.
One challenge school bus drivers frequently face is that private schools and public schools are not always in session on the same days. Routing software helps school districts and bus drivers become aware of separate calendars on days where routes are affected.
In Pennsylvania, school districts that provide transportation for their public school students must also provide transportation services to private school students of the same grade level. The private school must be nonprofit and located within ten miles of the district’s boundaries.
Transportation programs must also provide buses for private schools when public schools are not in session, unless the school closure is due to weather. Although this is the rule for Pennsylvania, requirements for transportation of private school students vary by state.
For many school district transportation programs, snow days are a major concern matched only by road closures due to flooding.
During a two-hour delay, school bus drivers must complete all normal procedures on time with the added hindrance of snow. Buses must be tested, cleaned and checked in addition to being cleared of snow.
Certain roads are unable to be traveled during inclement weather due to dangerous conditions or impassable roadblocks. In these situations, route software provides alternate routes that are pre-loaded into the system to avoid last-minute decisions that may jeopardize student safety.
Having the correct licenses is imperative for school bus drivers. Route software helps drivers stay current with licensing by alerting them when requirements are due. For example, drivers are alerted about their CDL, their regular license, bus inspections, criminal background checks, child abuse checks and physicals that need to be updated.
The school district is able to create settings within the software that decide how far in advance drivers are notified that their requirements are due for an update. Because regulations are different for each state, school districts are able to add and customize unlimited alerts.
When trusting school bus drivers to transport students safely to and from school, it is beneficial to assist them with tools that make their jobs easier. Route software not only improves safety, but it improves driver satisfaction.
Drivers benefit from documentation, notifications and on-the-road assistance that informs them of challenges and offers solutions so they don’t have to make last-minute decisions. Overall, school bus routing software is an invaluable tool that creates improved working relationships between drivers and school districts.
Are you ready to consult an expert about how routing software fits within your school district’s transportation program? Call 866-740-8994 to speak with an experienced industry professional or click here to access a live chat and receive help.