For years, school authorities delved for a solution to save money on their transportation expenses. Nevertheless, it was found that bus route optimization is the excellent solution to curtail expenses in relation to school transportation. And the real question is how to perform bus route optimization?
Lets' have a glimpse of it….
What is bus route optimization?
Actually, what is bus route optimization? Bus route optimization is the technique by which we find the most appropriate route on the basis of school assignments, current bus stops, timing, and bus loads. Consequently, route optimization helps to enhance the school bus fleet efficiency.
Due to its cost saving benefits, several schools are seriously considering route optimization. However, by effective arrangement of school bus routes, you will be able to lessen fuel costs, idling hours, and staffing by taking into consideration of safety concerns, school transportation policies, and road related disasters.
Incidentally, earlier route optimization was performed with the outdated wall maps, but the innovative modern technologies has made the task simple. Moreover, schools are utilizing the school bus routing software for optimizing their routes.
What is a bus routing software?
A school bus routing software consists of tools that assists you automatically generate ideal routes for your trip, on the basis of the users' criteria. Hereafter, these routes are interpreted against the current route for figuring out whether further logical alternatives exist or not.
Meanwhile, the routing software considers the school bus turns, stop locations, height and weight limitations based on the administered right sided pick-ups, and vehicle size. In addition, there are software that determines the most appropriate stop location for each student as per the boundary details, walk-to-stop distances, and enrollment details.
Why is bus route optimization essential?
The prime goal of bus route optimization is to lower the number of drivers and school buses running on a particular route. Moreover, you can save money by controlling the fuel and staffing expenses as minimal as possible.
Another significant benefit associated with a bus routing software is that it ensures student safety. How? Of course, the routing software is an advanced measure towards student security, by considering stop location, avoiding the areas resided by criminals, and danger zones.
Here's a video on how automatic route optimization works for school bus tracking:
Key areas the bus routing software address to:
- Recruit a transportation coordinator
A transportation coordinator is a person, who is bestowed with the responsibility to handle school transportation related needs. Usually, office staffs in a school handle the issues related to school bus transportation.
Ironically, by appointing a transportation coordinator, issues of several office staffs will be resolved (as handling the school transportation issues involves more risk than one imagine). Moreover, this is indeed the benefit of a bus routing software as single user is able to control the whole operations of school transportation.
- Review and validate student data
This is indeed a crucial element in a routing software as the student data you enter should be exact, otherwise the software may provide wrong pick up and drop point of a school bus student. Hence, it is wise to check out whether the current address and contact information of a student is correctly updated or not (be extra vigilant in case of special needs transportation).
- Ensure the maps are up-to-date
As roads are changing constantly, mapping software systems have a fairly long delay for new map releases. Therefore, it is necessary to update the map every six months for enhancing the routing efficiency.
- Generate a report
Generating a report with a synopsis of the current transportation and student expenses provide you a perfect standard for apprehending future improvements and budget savings. Based on these improvements, you will be able to manifest the Return on Investment (ROI) of your routing software and thereby, devise a new strategy for future upgrades.
- Planning for the future
No doubt, routes will change in the future. And hence, considering these changes is vital as the bus routing software will be able to avoid hazardous areas, or the areas planning for expansion. Consequently, the modern software considers these hypothetical scenarios and thus perform route planning.
Beneficial features of school bus routing software
Ordinarily, schools install software only when they possess a thorough understanding of its features. Here follows certain features that actually enhance the school transportation:
- Add and modify bus stops, travel constraints, and new roads
- Assign school bus stops automatically on the basis of the user specified walk-to-stop distance
- Allot right-sided pickup points for students
- Scheduling alternative pick-up point and drop point
- Bus pass creation
- Calendar storage
- Obtain historical data regarding student and bus routing for reporting
- Locate areas of criminals or sex offenders
- Customization options
As a matter of fact, utilizing the modern school bus routing software enables the school transportation authorities to ensure superior student safety. In addition, you will be able to save money and boost the efficiency of a school bus. Therefore, installing the software is the excellent solution for accomplishing the goals of school bus transportation.