Tag Archives: School Bus Fleet

How to Identify the Best Route Planning Software for Your School Bus Fleet

One of the key challenges confronted by the school transportation services is the rising fuel expenses. By optimizing routes for the school bus trip, you will be able to handle the issue. In fact, the implementation of route planning software enables you to resolve the routing concerns of school bus fleets.

Nevertheless, scheduling and coordinating routes manually is an expensive, tedious and complicated task. With the utilization of school bus routing software, school transportation will be able to accomplish the goals dexterously.

How to select the appropriate route planning software?

Of course there is a multitude of options on the market, especially for purchasing the transportation software. However, the selection process involves prodigious procedures. Have a glimpse of the common considerations that should be scrutinized while choosing the route planning software:

Is the software compatible with other kinds of software?

Ordinarily, the efficient operation of a routing software depends on its compatibility with other software programs, which comprise  the GPS vehicle tracking programs, student tracking programs, and student information systems. Moreover, it assists you to save money and time along with the student safety.

At times, route management software is a  game changer for school transportation. But, it is essential to be aware of current trends, and thus incorporating up-to-date technology can be beneficial for you. And, updating the software can lower the expenses, save time, and reduce hassle.

Essential features of route planning software

Routing software will be designed on the basis of number of users, the size of your district, and the complication of your school bus routes. Presumably, the modern routing software encompasses detailed area maps that enables you to add new roads, pick up points, and travel limits. And, if the routing software you are utilizing can not compare the multiple routes based on your requirement, then it's time to upgrade it. Other crucial features include:

  • Allocating pick up points for school bus students based on user specification (walk-to-stop distances)
  • Considering right sided pickups
  • Options for setting pick-up and drop location
  • Bus pass creation
  • Calendar settings
  • Store bus routing details for generating reports
  • Identify sex offender areas and avoid those areas in routing
  • Customization options

Training and support

The routing software will be futile, if you don't have an awareness on how to operate or utilize it. While choosing the provider, examine the type of training provided, and how it satisfies the needs of your staff. Two types of training are exclusively available for you- web based training and in-person training. And, ensure that the software provider gives constant support for maintenance.

Reports

Based on the data obtained from the software, you will be able to generate accurate and comprehensive reports. Certain software can also generate reports with the historical data. And, school transportation officials will be able to carefully analyse it and enhance the school bus routing.

As a matter of fact, by choosing the suitable route planning software, the overall school transport service will be improved as it solve all the discrepancies involved in the school bus routing.

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How will You Know that School Bus Fleet is ready to Handle Emergencies?

The worst fear of every parent is regarding their child’s safety. With the alarming incidents of child abuse and everyday mishaps, the concerns  become worrisome. To add fuel to the fire, there are several nuclear families, where the parents prefer to care their children almost independently. While the rise of nuclear families is not a popular issue, the effects are visible in the societal set up with increased transparency. 

In consideration to the growing number of vehicles on the street every day. Surely, there are numerous parents, hence resorting to sending kids by school buses. In fact, parents are likely to trust the school bus fleet than a private service  simply due to the trust that they had put in the administration/management of the schools.

Hence, the responsibility of a safer travel environment for the kids rests with the management in particular. While considering the safety, the first question that comes to your mind is whether they can handle emergencies. How one can assure this readiness is the prime question. A simple matrix might not work, but there are certain factors, which can be indicative of an excellent school bus fleet and its readiness to handle emergencies.

1. Crew aware of safety rules

Lack of Safety rules and regulations is one important area, where the management can step in and provide assistance. Regular refresher courses and safety training among the school bus staff can be of tremendous support in instilling confidence not only among the school bus crew, but also among the parents. A well-informed school bus driver might not likely violate the rules, if he knows the possible legal consequences. It’s not regarding the fear of violations, but the awareness of the responsibilities that would establish the school bus crew in a superior way. 

2. First aid box adequate

The next important rule of thumb about safety is the proper installation of a first aid box. The contents should be adequate and not expired. In several cases, the school bus staff fails to check the expiry dates of the medicines and other items in the first aid box, which can be completely useless in handling emergencies.

3. Children are taught the rules on safety

Awareness of traffic and safety rules among the children can help the bus staff to maintain the discipline and provide a safe ride without trouble. Bullying, ignoring the bus staff advice, shouting and loud singing, etc. can distract the driver and invite accidents. Ordinarily, schools that include the traffic and safety rules and regulations in their curriculum will be the first choice of parents. 

Children should also be taught on how to provide first aid and the need to keep calm and not panic in case of emergencies. They should also be taught how to exit from the bus in case of such emergencies through emergency windows or such safety measures. 

4. Security measures such as GPS in place

Technological advances such as GPS tracker and RFID tags when properly utilized will certainly enhance the confidence among the parents. Advanced fleet management systems can automatically send messages, emails or push notifications when the child boards the bus, alights from the bus, or when the bus crosses certain points on the route etc. 

If your school has provided such facilities to ensure the safety of children, parents are sure to vouch for you. RFID tags are embedded in the ID cards of the children in certain schools, which help them to track them individually also. When handling emergency situations, these fleet management systems can initiate SOS messages and help the legal authorities in tracking down the bus without wasting time. Sending a substitute bus for break down also becomes easier with such systems . 

5. Emergency contact numbers displayed

Does your school bus display the contact numbers of emergency clearly so that the immediate rescuers can inform the authorities? If so, then your fleet should be well-equipped to handle emergencies too. 

6. Fire exit in place and working 

Checking whether the emergency exit measures, seat belts, air bags, etc. are working properly once in a while can create a meaningful difference in case of emergencies. Doing so can help to boost the confidence of the bus crew as well as the parents. 

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Issues Faced by School Bus Fleet Managers [Infographics]

 

With the increased traffic and unsafe conditions, the school bus transportation became difficult. Road related accidents and injuries are increasing day by day due to the increased number of vehicles on the road. Students are more exposed to accidents as they are unaware of essential safety rules and safety measures. Hence, student road safety has been at stake ever since.

School bus fleet managers are said to be the caretaker of students on a school bus. Their prime responsibility is the safety of school bus students. Apart from this, there are so many important responsibilities that should be fulfilled by a fleet manager. 

Often, you will be able to see fleet managers finding difficulty in organising pick up point location of each school bus student, conducting maintenance and repair, contacting every school bus driver, checking the status of school buses, attending to emergency situations, and managing complaints of parents.

Lack of communication and improper monitoring of a school bus makes the task of school bus fleet managers risky and complex. Fleet managers need to organise and plan school bus schedules properly for smooth functioning of school bus transportation. When you analyze school bus transportation closely, you will be able to identify certain common issues faced by a fleet manager.

 

Issues Faced by School Bus Fleet Managers

 

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