Tag Archives: School bus transportation

Artificial Intelligence in School Bus – A Comprehensive Guide

You will agree with the fact that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the catchphrase which is attracting the attention of people operating in different spheres. Now, AI is also making its strong presence felt in the field of school transportation.

You might be wondering the role of AI in this territory concerning the pickup and dropping of school students at their designated stops.

For every one of you to make the most of the state-of-the-art technology aptly coined with the AI title, here is an all-in-one guide. Reading this will help you understand the numerous ways in which AI can simplify the school bus fleet operations.

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence, true to its name is a technology that is meant to simplify the lives of humans in more ways than you can imagine. It is a technique by which you can allow your routine operations to be controlled by AI-supported computers.

To sum it all, AI allows machines to think and act on their own, just as human do. Human intelligence takes the form of instructions that are given to these machines. They will then be transformed into artificially intelligent systems that can act on their own.

If you are curious to know about the different ways in which AI-powered systems operate, it will take you by surprise that such machines can plan, learn, demonstrate reasoning abilities, solve problems, show up various perceptions and provide creative solutions.

Not leaving the various demands of school transportation behind, TrackSchoolBus makes the most of AI features to provide a host of benefits to the stakeholders.  Let us now move on to understand the various ways in which TrackSchoolBus relies on AI in supporting the various needs of school buses.

What are its main features?

What do you expect from a school bus transportation system which is powered by Artificial Intelligence? You will expect it to seamlessly provide all the solutions to various concerns of school transportation alongside strengthening the security of school students.

And AI does exactly the same. It is through an in-built AI technology that TrackSchoolBus automates the three most important subjects concerning school transportation.

They are: Auto Allocation, Auto Optimization and Auto Routing.

Let us now examine all these 3 features in detail.

  1. Auto Allocation:

True to its name, auto allocation is an AI-powered feature that helps fleet managers allocate vehicles on different school routes. AI steps in by providing the much-needed data point which is the optimum capacity of every school bus route. There may be some routes which demand a couple of trips and there may be others which are less populated. In such cases, an auto allocation enables transport managers to optimally allocate a particular bus to a particular school bus route.

  1. Auto Optimization:

Moving on to the next AI feature that helps school districts is about the preparedness to initiate a sudden change in route. This feature serves two basic necessities. One being the route optimization and the other is the pickup optimization.

Speaking of route optimization, it is through this feature that fleet managers can effortlessly manage and juggle with multiple pickup points that should be covered in a single bus route. In the event a student needs to be picked up somewhere between two pickup points, a provision can be made. Route optimization also helps the school bus to take the shortest route to a destination.

Moving on to pick up optimization, you will be in a comfortable position to come up with an exact pickup point for a student that is in line with the historical data and the assigned points.

AI helps fleet managers rise to the occasion of a change in the pickup point so that they can make timely changes to the school bus route. That means, it is through AI that school bus managers can optimize their routes taking into account a sudden change in the pickup point while the bus is in motion.

  1. Auto Routing:

TrackSchoolBus relies on a smart Auto Routing algorithm that enables fleet managers to come up with the most cost and time-effective route. Here, the existing data points consisting of drop and pickup points that are generated by AI serve as pointers to alter a particular school bus route.

What are its advantages?

For you to understand the benefits of AI to the field of school transportation, you need to give a closer look at the three automated features, individually.

Advantages of Auto Allocation Feature

  1.  AI will help fleet managers to assign the correct pickup point which is established on the basis of the current residential address of students.
  2. If any change in the route, auto allocation helps transport managers to redo the auto routing plan while effectively performing all the activities of auto routing.
  3. All thanks to Artificial Intelligence, you now have a system that takes care of all the school bus routes, pickup points and vehicle assignments. You need to simply provide pertinent details concerning the trip and residential address and AI does its job, automatically performing all the above activities.  
  4. Both parents and school bus drivers will be informed about the pickup point of students as location indicates on Google Maps.
  5. AI simplifies the job of a transport manager allowing him to chalk out a route in a jiffy. He does not have to worry about the number of pickup points or the strength of students. AI does all the spade work necessary and suggests an optimal route which saves a lot of time and cost.
  6. As an attractive incentive to prospective schools, TrackSchoolBus offers free auto allocation trials. Depending on their satisfaction levels, schools can opt for this time-saving and efficient AI-powered auto allocation feature.

Advantages of Auto Optimization Feature:

  1. You just need two data points to implement the auto optimization feature and they are the starting point and the ending point. Due to this feature, school bus routes are optimized automatically and are AI-inbuilt.
  2. It is through this AI-powered feature that fleet managers can continuously and diligently monitor any change in pickup points. They will get all the help needed to assign pickup points by relying on the actual location of the student.
  3. You can also immediately get information about the best possible road that is free from traffic jams. Through this auto optimization feature, transport managers can not only reduce the travel time but also bring down fuel bills to a considerable extent. 
  4. If any relocation, you can effortlessly update the pickup point that will be intimated to everyone concerned.
  5. With this, fuel and fleet maintenance bills can be reduced. In turn, you can also reduce the wear and tear of your fleet when you avoid the instances of unnecessary travel, covering long distances.

Advantages of Auto Routing Feature

  1. This help transport managers to decide which route to take, which trip to start and which vehicle will meet the capacity requirements of a particular route.
  2. Fleet managers can perform regular checks to assess the efficiency of their current school bus routes.
  3. It is through this AI-powered feature that you can optimize many elements of school transportation including durability of the vehicle, usage of vehicle on a daily basis along with running time and the total distance covered per day.
  4. Since this feature takes the vehicle details as an important data point, you can match your requirements based on the number of students at a particular pickup point, the total seating capacity of a school bus and the shift that a particular driver is filling in for.
  5. In addition to cut down the costs to run the school bus fleet, AI helps to save the vehicle running hours through optimized vehicle assignments.

How will AI change the management of school buses?

It is indeed a very difficult task for transport managers to come up with the most befitting route for a school bus trip. However, they need not fret as they can now make the most of modern technological advancements coming in the form of Artificial Intelligence. Modern technology now steps in to provide the much-needed support to transport managers to effectively manage the school bus fleets.

Let us now check out the various ways in which AI helps transport managers to deliver their responsibilities in the most efficient manner.

AI Solves School Bus Routing Issues

AI is now being considered the most viable option to address many concerns revolving around school bus routing. When AI comes into the picture, a host of user-friendly and affordable apps are available to all the stakeholders concerned about the safety and convenience of students. With AI by your side, school bus tracking apps loaded with modern features including auto routing, auto optimization and auto allocation can be put to use.

Let us look at these 3 features which have a major role in the effective management of school buses.

Auto Routing Helps to Operate an Optimized School Bus Route at All Times

By now you have understood the advantages you can derive out of TrackSchoolBus’ auto routing feature. This feature collates pertinent information concerning school bus routes, pickup and drop points, student profiles from historical transportation records, vehicle assignments and seating capacities of school buses. Taking all these important data points into consideration, the auto routing feature automatically suggests an optimized route supported by other details linked to vehicle assignments and trips.

Having an eye fixed on these parameters will automatically put you in complete control over the running hours of every school bus and the fuel and vehicle maintenance cost that is incurred on every vehicle.

To sum it all, below is the rundown of the various ways in which auto routing helps in the management of school bus fleets.

  • Come up with the most appropriate school bus route for every trip
  • Cut down the vehicle running time, in turn leading to the fall in operating costs of school buses
  • Regular checks on the effectiveness of every school bus route can be performed
  • School bus operators can effortlessly chalk out optimized routes and school bus trips considering data points like pickup point density, the bus seating capacity and the school timings

Auto Allocation – Another AI-Powered Offering of TrackSchoolBus

To activate the AI-powered auto allocation feature, you need to collate student information which comes in the form of vehicle information and their designated pickup and drop point details. Here are the evident ways in which auto allocation helps transport managers perform their duties in the most efficient manner.

  • Transport managers can effectively complete all the techniques concerning auto routing
  • They can select the pickup point by considering the residential addresses of students
  • AI steps in to display the pickup point of every student as a location on the Google Maps
  • School bus operators can optimize the pickup point by referencing it with the historical data that is stored on the system

Auto Optimization Enables the Optimum Utilization of School Buses

Meant to address two important sub-processes, auto optimization helps transport managers come up with: a) an optimized route b) an optimized pickup point. Collectively, this feature enables school bus operators to optimize the utilization of school bus in the following ways:

  • Suggests the most befitting and efficient route, thereby saving the drivers’ time and efforts
  • By plying on an effective route, you will be in a strong position to cut down vehicle maintenance costs and the running time of school buses
  • It help to reduce fuel consumption
  • Apart from preventing the haphazard movement of school buses, the auto optimization feature improves the durability of your fleet
  • While AI suggests a road with less traffic, it will also come up with the shortest route which cuts down the vehicle running time
  • The efficiency of pickup points can be improved by coordinating the efforts of school bus operators and transportation authorities
  • Along with a facility to update and alter pickup points, AI helps in the modification of school bus routes matching the seating capacity of school buses
  • A relocation can be addressed by the re-center facility, a feature that allows you to immediately alter and update the pickup point
  • School bus operators can effortlessly change the pickup point by taking the reference of the actual location
  • They can also make the necessary changes to the school bus route depending on how much students can be accommodated.

Conclusion

As a takeaway thought, AI through its effective features paves the way for an effective management of school bus fleet. Not only it helps school bus operators to come up with cost-effective and shorter bus routes, it will also improve the goodwill of every school.

Hence signing up for the AI-powered school bus transportation services of TrackSchoolBus will be an as an intelligent move for every school.

Schools which subscribe to these automated school bus management and tracking services are bound to take pride in their efforts to employ advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence.

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9 Things to Avoid In School Bus Transportation Services

School bus transportation services offer the safest mode of transport for getting kids to and from their schools. They offer about 50 times more safety for kids to and from schools than other mode of transportation.

Additionally, kids have a much safer travel in a school bus than being taken by their parents in the personal vehicles.

As school buses are one among the safest means for kids to and from school, there are many superior reasons that make them a rising option amid parents for the school commute of their children.

However, to make the school bus safe, kids availing the school bus transportation services are supposed to avoid some factors. Here are 9 vital things to avoid while availing such services to ensure the maximum safety of kids boarding the bus.

1. Bus stop rushing

School-going kids should not all rush to their bus stop if they are late. Late kids are inclined to run to their bus stop or chase their school bus if it has already gone past their bus stop.

This can be very hazardous if they run across a highway and overlook to pay their attention to traffic. Kids should always come to their bus stop at least five minutes before the arrival of their school bus. This may greatly aid them to avoid the morning panic.

2. Clothing

Kids should avoid wearing loose straps or hanging drawstrings clothes as it can be a risk on a school bus. Unruly straps and drawstrings can be trapped in the doors and handrails of their school bus.

They can become lodged in or wrapped around a seat, as well. This will stop the kids from exiting their school bus quickly during an emergency.

3. Waiting for bus

It is safe for school-going children by avoiding standing near to the curb while they are waiting for their bus. Usually, kids have a much higher possibility of being wounded in a zone where the loading and unloading of school students is being carried out, than within the bus itself.

School administrators and students should advise their kids to stand at a minimum distance of six feet away from the curb while they are waiting at their bus stop.

4. Bus front

School students should not walk very close to the front part of bus while boarding it. This is because while strolling in front of their school bus, there is a chance for a mishap with the bus if the driver accidentally releases the brake of the bus.

Therefore, kids should be appropriately instructed to stand at a minimum distance of 10 feet ahead of their bus prior to crossing the road every time.

5. Road crossing

Students should not cross the road without checking the traffic on both of their sides. This means that they have to check the traffic on their left as well as on their right side while crossing the street. 

Furthermore, it is the personal responsibility of the school bus driver to stop the bus from where the kids and the driver should be able to see each.  While crossing before the school bus, children should first see the driver.

This will make sure that both the driver as well as the kids can perceive each other.

6. Picking up the dropped things

Kids should avoid picking up things by themselves that they have dropped their items while boarding and unboarding school bus.

Parents should suitably instruct their kids not to attempt and repossess their things that they have dropped near or under their school bus on their own.

This could be unsafe for the reason that they will be out of the sight of driver. Asking the driver to pick up the dropped things will ensure the maximum safety of the kids boarding bus.

7. Boarding the bus

Kids are supposed to avoid boarding their school bus too hastily. Parents should advise their kids to remain patient while they are boarding their school bus. They should make their kids understand that entering the bus is not a competition or a race to grab their seats.

Kids should stand one behind the other in a line away from the road at their bus stop before boarding their school bus. Moreover, they should avoid entering the bus before it stops completely.

Then, they can start boarding the bus after the doors are opened. They can then start entering the bus after getting the green signal from the bus attendant to board the bus.

8. Safe seating in the bus

Traveling kids should not put their body parts outside the window of school bus. Even though it may offer some sort of enjoyment to kids, they should stay away from hanging their body parts out of the window as it can led to serious wounds.

Therefore, children who are school bus commuters should not at all put their arms, heads, or hands out of the bus window.

9. Emergency exit

By no means, kids should play with the emergency exit in their school bus. Grown-up kids will usually sit in the back seats of their bus. Although the emergency exit door may intrigue them, they should not at all touch the door or try to open it.

On no account, they should obstruct the door with their backpacks or bags, as well.  During the time of an emergency, students are supposed to listen to the instructions of the driver carefully about the use of the emergency exit.

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11 Crucial Elements for Managing School Transport Effectively

Providing school transportation to students is an added advantage for parents these days as it takes care of the conveyance of children with a pick up and drop off point as well as time. It helps children as well as parents to get into a routine and reach school on time and safely. But on the other hand schools need to exercise caution when providing transportation for students.

Once the school starts to provide the facility of transportation to students, it thinks of responsibility for compliance with several regulations.

It takes responsibility of students’ safety in all conditions. They also become answerable for the condition of transport vehicle and must also have a system for customary inspections and for reporting defects in the vehicle.

Some of the below mentioned elements must be kept in mind and practiced by schools to manage school transport effectively.

1. Manage Bus Routes – The biggest challenge for the school transportation department is to come up with convenient, time-saving routes that cover all the students in a manner that is cost-effective, fuel efficient as well as time effective. The job is much more difficult than it sounds as preparing routes for multiple vehicles and ensuring that the routes don’t overlap or cause any confusion.

2. Create Bus Stations – Another extremely important element of this procedure is to create convenient as well as accessible bus stations for all students. While creating bus stations, transportation department must keep in mind that they should be convenient  for all students and also located at a place where it is safe for students to wait for the vehicle.

The bus station cannot be decided at a place that has heavy traffic or no waiting place as it will become   inconvenient for students and parents who are supposed to drop them.

3. Manage Bus Timings – Managing bus timings is a vital step in managing school transportation as all the routes have to be decided keeping in mind the availability of vehicles.

The routes are supposed to be allotted to vehicles in a manner that each vehicle gets buffer time owing to technical problems or traffic delays. The buses are also supposed to be timed in a way that takes the least time during the time of its travel.

4. Create Fee slots – For schools to be able to manage the transportation it is necessary for it to be viable and feasible for them. The bus routes and timings must be decided keeping in mind the cost incurred for the same.

Fee slots must be created for different routes depending on the distance from the school and other important factors. Students must be categorized under different fee slots to ensure that the school is not incurring losses while providing transportation.

5. Allocate Routes to Students / Staff – The next step involves allocation of routes to staff members as well as students. Schools have to keep in mind that each vehicle has a similar student-teacher ratio or at least ensure that every vehicle has a minimum of two to three teachers, one of which stays in the vehicle till almost the end of the route. This is necessary to ensure the children safety and also helps make parents feel comfortable sending their children in school bus.

6. Manage Student Attendance – While talking about the student safety; it is also very essential to keep a head count of the student and also take a roll call/attendance before reaching the school and also after leaving the school.

The attendance helps cross-check the number of students boarding the bus. Schools must ensure this practice to ensure the safety of the children as they are responsible for their conveyance safety to and from school.

7. Ensure Student Safety – This point has been reiterated many times in this article as the safety of the children holds immense importance. The school takes full responsibility of children’s safety while providing them school transportation and therefore must keep a check on the condition of  vehicles and  speed of the vehicle  as well. Schools must come out with great techniques to help track down children’s safety.

8. Track Bus Location – It is extremely important for the buses to be tracked down at all times. Schools must adopt techniques to track  the vehicle and its staff at all times especially in emergency or mishaps.

9. Integration with GPS Device – One way schools can track down vehicle location is through GPS tracking device. The GPS tracking device is very efficient in tracking the location of  bus, its speed and other relevant details.

This enables the school to stay informed about  driver’s driving efficiency and  condition of the vehicle. This can help them take a timely decision during the time of concern.

10. Generate Various Reports – Integration with the GPS tracking device can enable schools to take out various reports and compare details such as  wear and tear of the vehicles,  speed at which it is driven, etc. These reports help compare the efficiency of routes, timings and driving styles, enabling schools to come up with cost and time effective services for the students while also ensuring their safety.

11. Easy Record Search – School transportation must enable video surveillance as well. By enabling this feature the staffs responsible for conveyance also becomes alert and puts forth their best behaviour. It also helps control student behaviour and ensuring no unnecessary nuisance or quarrels.

The elements mentioned above hold equal importance when it comes to managing the school transport efficiently. As we all know it is a job that requires a high level of safety for children while incurring a high cost of accomplishment for the school. 

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Parent’s Concerns About School Bus Transportation

Parents in general are always concerned while their children are outside either for studies, games or any other things.

While at home or at school, the parents have that sense of feeling that their children are safe. But there is a common notion, which is true that happens in between their school & home: yes their school bus journey.

You may be aware of the recent unfortunate events related to school bus safety on road where the innocent children had to bear the brunt of road rage & careless driving.

These things have aggravated the emotional distress of parents sitting at home or office concerned about the safety of their children.

Uses of Technology

Technology has always been a life saver in these kinds of situations not just in terms of prevention but also to let the parents or authorities know that help is needed.

An in detail analysis is needed in terms of identifying the grey areas in bus timetable and live bus arrivals also to suggest and implement solutions enabled by technology for solving those problems.

There are situations wherein the children are dropped off from a school bus in a totally different location than the one he or she should be dropped in.

It’s heartbreaking every time that a parent hears that their child is not in the designated location.

These errors are mostly inadvertent one from the bus drivers or the caretaker who is supposed to be inside the bus throughout the journey.

The staffs assigned to each bus would not be the same one every day. They would probably be on a rotation basis.

A practical solution for this problem would be to enable the caretaker inside the bus with a low cost tablet with an app that has a bus timetable and routes with the list of students to be dropped at stipulated destinations. This could be a fool proof solution.

Most of the school buses do not have a system to tackle emergency medical situations. There are children who always suffer from long time travelling health issues.

An emergency infrastructure has to be deployed inside the bus. If there is an acute medical situation, the bus driver or the caretaker inside should be able to report it immediately to a clinic that is close by.

A GPS module inside the school bus along with a distress button would enable the caretaker to send a signal to the close by clinic wherein they can track the live bus arrivals.

The parents are always in a state of oblivion about where their children are after the school bus journey begins from school to home. Imagine the situation if the journey takes close to or more than an hour. It’s bad.

Location based bus tracker solutions are always the life savers here. Consider a proposition wherein the parent is enabled with a mobile application that gives the exact location of the school bus in which their child is.

With the emergence of smartphones, most of the parents would be having a phone wherein you can install an application. The parents would never hesitate to have an app in their phone if it’s concerned with the well being of their children.

Live bus arrivals can be tracked easily with the GPS system installed in the bus. The parents only need to get to the stop when the bus is close by, no need to rush or no need to wait for such a long time in anticipation.

Bus tracker solutions are very much common in countries in the west. Those adoption rates are slowly picking up in India as well.

Advantages of GPS Tracking 

The one major advantage of GPS tracking system is that it can help save children from being abducted.

There are cases of missing children are increasing, leveraging tracking technology to save and keep children safe is beneficial for both school officials and parents.

A decent GPS tracking device can confirm live bus arrivals and check whether a child had been on an assigned bus based on the bus timetable and had they been out of the bus or not.

With the help of the bus tracker, a parent is aware of the fact that a child is inside their assigned bus and heading to the right location provides a safe thinking to parents.

School bus safety concerns are aplenty to handle and it becomes worrisome for the parents. They do have the thought whether their children are in safe hands or not.

It’s always going to be a headache for the school management to ensure the duty to the right people for transportation.

The driver has to be assigned with full charge or responsibility while on duty and it has to be ensured that his instructions are to be followed at all times. It's always advisable not to make noise inside the bus, by that way could distract the driver.

The children have to be educated or made aware to not to loiter inside the moving bus or to keep their arms and head outside the bus while in motion. Misconduct inside the bus will result in damage of the bus or physical abuse to the people inside.

Conclusion

A lot of things are to be concerned about, but a systematic risk mitigation approach could lead to a much better environment in terms of travel and learning.

The people involved here including the bus caretakers, drivers, management, parents and the children are equally involved in the safety and professionalism in taking things forward in a smooth way.

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5 Smart Tips to Involve Parents In School Bus Transportation Issues

First and foremost, matters concerning school buses always constitute alarm to parents. For the simple fact that millions of children commute back and forth to school and home in the bright yellow colored school buses, school administrations should call for the active involvement of the parent community.

Nevertheless, it could be about the erratic or unruly behavior of a school bus driver or the issues concerning reckless driving, speeding or jumping signals or red lights. Otherwise, there will be lack of safety mechanisms in buses. All these issues should raise a red flag for parents and should be discussed before the occurrence of an untoward incident. 

A Little Bit of Sensibility Goes a Long Way in Staying Safe

All for the sake of ensuring safe and comfortable rides to your wards, you as parents should take the responsibility to address the following concerns related to school bus transportation. Moreover, the following section sheds light on the general issues posed by school buses along with simple and workable solutions that the parents can implement every single day.

  1. Waiting for the School Bus To Arrive

A plethora of planning goes behind chalking out school bus routes so that you as parents can pick and choose the route that is convenient for you. Of course, you can generate a well-informed decision by taking into consideration the various pickup and drop points and the distance between them to your home.

Given the fact that you should accompany your kids to the pickup point every single day, it requires certain amount of sensibility from your side to leave home at the right time so that you and your wards can reach the bus stop before the bus arrives.

Concern

A majority of the parents feels that students who come to the bus stop alone might rush to the stop if they are late. Arguably, in a mad rush, they would not be careful and vigilant towards the oncoming traffic. This haste might lead to accidents or injuries to kids.

A Simple Way Out

It is through RFID tags that parents can be notified about the exact location of their ward. Furthermore, with these safety devices, parents can heave a sigh of relief. They will be convinced that their child is in safe hands. Hence, the solution to the above issue should be able to exercise patience in children and wait in a secure place away from the road for the school bus to approach and pick them up.

  1. Getting Into the School Bus

At times, students who are boarding their school bus can confront hazardous consequences if they are within the danger zone of the bus.

Concern

Hastening into a school bus can cause injury to students along with standing too close to the bus. Both these circumstances can be perilous for school kids.

A Simple Way Out

The onus is on parents to educate their wards regarding the safety instructions that need to be followed by their wards. As a parent, you should  be able to instruct your wards to board the bus in a single queue, without pushing or rushing others. Since the driver cannot oversee children who are within the danger zone, you as parents should teach your kids to stay away from the danger zone. Another imperative directive that should be dinned into the minds of school children plying the school buses is that they require  waiting for the bus to come to a grinding halt before they begin to board the bus.

  1. The Use of Seat Belts Inside the Moving Bus 

Life is so precarious that a normal bus journey can result in losing lives of several students who did not use the school bus seat belts.

Concern

Several parents vouch for the fact that the school buses ply without the essential safety mechanism; the seat belts. And even if there are seat belts in the bus, they cannot serve the purpose of protecting kids as they do not cross over the shoulders and laps of the kids.

A Simple Way Out 

The parent community should reiterate the need for school bus seat belts as part of the safety and security measures of transportation. Meanwhile, talking to the management and expressing your concern to demand seat belts mandatory in every school bus can help every student on board to appreciate a comfortable and safe journey; day in and day out.

  1. Alighting the School Bus

A kid who realizes that he dropped his properties under the bus will run towards the bus to pick them up. However, the driver would be unaware of this fact and will start the bus. This act of negligence can either lead to a genuine injury or an irreversible fatal condition.

Concern

As a matter of fact, parents are concerned about the distance between their wards and the danger zone of the bus. If students stand near the school bus even after getting down, they will hurt themselves.

A Simple Way Out

Parents can step in and impress upon their wards to adhere to certain safety tips after descending the school bus. In addition, educating students about the danger zones of a school bus is compulsory and when such safety rules come from parents themselves, kids will be all ears and implement them at all times.

  1. Unruly Behavior of Fellow Students and the Driver

Kids will be boisterous engaging in constant chatter while being inside a running bus. Long and raucous conversations between kids along with childish arguments can be distracting to the driver. On the flip side, school children would narrate instances of unruly behavior coming from the bus driver. Either he would be attending to phone calls while at the wheel or would cross the speed limit of the bus. All these instances of dreadful behavior have a bearing on the safety of your kids and others as well.

Issue

Parents are concerned about their kids who put out their head and hands outside the moving school bus. At the same time, certain children drink and eat in the bus, which can lead to accidents when they slip on the dropped eatables. If the driver despise mischievous kids, he might use offensive language to stop them from talking.

A Simple Way Out

Ordinarily, the impish behavior of kids along with the unruly acts of the driver can be better dealt with by the parent community. For this reason, parents can form a group and represent their concerns to the school management.

In fact, when acts of unacceptable behavior expressed by a unanimous group is known by the management, you can accordingly ensure prompt disciplinary action to be taken against erring students or the driver in question. On the other hand, teaching students about how to behave inside the running school bus is another responsibility that parents should take along with insisting the appointment of a supervisor who would take care of the kids on the bus.

Conclusion

Given the important role-played by parents in inculcating safety and favorable behavior of their wards, they can also become the prime instruments of change. Consequently, tackling the above-mentioned concerns with regard to school bus transportation, sensible parents through their valuable inputs and suggestions can ensure safe and complacent journeys for kids at all times. Presumably, constant interactions and follow-ups with the school management about any issues that might arise will assist parents endorse the common “a stitch in time saves nine” maxim.

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How School Bus Routing Software Enhance School Transportation

Every school aims to provide an efficient school transportation for students. And its success depends on routing. Effective cost management and proper benchmarking policies assist you to determine how well your school bus fleet operates. There is a multitude of factors that lead to the success of school transport services. Need details regarding it?

Let's check out the essentials required for efficient school bus fleet management:

1. Precision in Fleet Data

In order to operate school bus fleets efficiently, you should obtain accurate fleet data. The reason for this is, all the crucial decisions are taken on the basis of this fleet data. Hence, fleet data should be proper and precise. With the support of a school bus tracking software, you will be able to accomplish the tasks without compromising precision level.

2. Proper Organization of Fleets

Fleet operations would be impeccable, if there is proper planning and coordination among personnel and the tasks assigned to them. For effective fleet management, transport managers should be able to organize the school bus fleets correspondingly.

Role of School Bus Routing Software and GPS School Bus Tracking System

With the assistance of a school bus routing software, you can choose the apt and efficient route for your trip, obtain the precise fleet data and thus manage school bus fleets smoothly. Also, with the route optimization feature, you will be able to determine the exact location of a school bus in real time without further delay.

A school bus GPS tracking system is a valuable tool for school transport managers. They can track the school bus location and receive instant alerts whenever there is an emergency.

Strengths and weaknesses of school bus routing software

By recognizing the strengths and weaknesses, you will be able to enhance student safety, school bus route optimization, and budget of the school. Here are certain benefits or strengths of a school bus routing software:

  • Effective management of drivers

Providing satisfactory working condition is an excellent solution to reduce the employee loss. And a school bus routing software can aid you with that. Here follows certain procedures by which the schools should follow, especially when working with drivers are:

  • Attribute adequate training regarding the usage of routing software
  • Render up-to-date routing details
  • Save money

Of course, fuel costs  should be actively considered by the school transportation authorities, especially when you aim for a profitable business. There are two ways to save money on fuel costs:

  1. Negotiating prices with the usual fuel dealer to provide some discount
  2. Install a school routing software and a GPS school bus tracking system to identify the  optimized route for your trip that saves time and money

Out of the two above mentioned methods, the second one is practical. This is because modern trackers will be able to realize if there is a diversion from the assigned routes and thereby, evade unnecessary wastage of fuel. Route optimization feature can also be handy in saving money on fuel costs.

  • Provide reliable school transportation services

School management can enhance its transportation budget by saving on fuel costs and driver costs via a tracking system. For benchmarking the success of the school transportation, you can consider the following data for comparing with others:

You can identify the weakness of school bus routing by answering the following queries:

  • Average age of school buses
  • Period of usage
  • Average riding time of student on each day

When all the above details are carefully analyzed, you will be able to identify the strengths as well as weakness of school bus routing. Based on the strengths and weaknesses, you can identify the areas where you can augment the school transportation. Hence, school bus routing software is indeed a boon to school bus fleet management.

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How to Choose the Right Seat for Student Passengers?

 

Without doubt, the safety offered by a school bus to school students cannot be compensated by any other means of transportation. But we can definitely increase the safety features of school buses by equipping them with a GPS Tracking System (which may provide students with RFID cards) and other safety measures.

Staying seated on the school bus ensures safety. The less a bus driver is distracted, the more will he concentrate on driving. Shifting seats inside the bus and moving away from the seats can cause injury to the students. Seats of the bus are arranged to make the journey safe.

There are certain tips to keep in mind while choosing the right school bus seat of the bus. Safety should be the prime consideration inside the school bus. A typical school bus consists of seats with 39 inches wide and with maximum seating capacity of 3.

Wait for the bus in the safest place. Get in to the bus without rushing forming a queue. Hold the hand rail of the bus, while getting inside the bus. Choose the right school bus seat inside the bus.

Tips to choose the right seats revealed;

“When you make a choice, you change the future.”Deepak Chopra

It is important to have a clear idea about, how the students should be seated. Reserving permanent seats for students is an effective method of reducing the rush inside the school bus.

It’s better to finalize the seats according to the route of the bus. Those who board the bus early and leave late can be given the last seats. Students who board the bus late and leaves early can be given front seats. Authorities must take special consideration while choosing seats for students. If any student finds the allotted seat uncomfortable, there should be a facility to report it.

The bus is generally divided in to three parts;

  • The front is calm but there can be noise from the engine
  • Middle is half noisy and half silent
  • The back is bumpy, without any noise of the engine

Step 1

The allotted seats should be carefully noted by the children. Make sure that you be seated in the right seat. No exchanging of seats should be allowed. If there is any uncomfortable situation, it can be reported to the bus supervisor.

Step 2

After finding the most comfortable seat for each student, make sure that no other student is reserved for that seat. Seat number can be allotted to children in order to eliminate confusion.

Step 3

If there happens a collision of seat, there should be a second option. A bus supervisor can help with the seating arrangement of the children.

Step 4

Divide between children who want to sit by the left windows or the right windows. Bags and other parcels must be kept in the lap of the students. Throwing anything out of the bus is dangerous, children must never do that.

Step 5

After picking the most convenient seat, enjoy peaceful ride. Do not move away from the seat or exchange seats, while the bus is moving. Children should not eat or drink anything in the bus. After entering the bus, children must be seated properly, facing forward. Avoid putting hands and head outside the bus.

Step 6

Never allow annoying people to sit next to you. It is better to make sure that a known person sits next to you. Making noise and fighting inside the bus is strictly prohibited. Always remember children misbehaving inside the bus can loose the privilege of travelling in the school bus

Safety message about the “danger zone”;

  • If you can touch the school bus, you are standing too close
  • Step out of the danger zone with 10 giant steps
  • Make sure, you can see the driver and the driver can see as well
  • Never stop to pick up anything dropped in the danger zone, ask an adult or driver for help

Ironically, assigning a particular seat for each school bus student is the best means to handle mischievous children. Also, appropriate seating for students can simplify your task by saving your valuable time.

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7 School Bus Transportation Facilities for Special Need Students

 

“Once you accept that your child will be different, not better or worse- just different, that is the first step.” -Anonymous

Little Diya is eagerly waiting to start her school expeditions. But her parents are worried because she is suffering from partial blindness. Her parents are baffled by many questions when they think of Diya’s school bus journeys. 

Diya is just a representative of an immense number of special needs students

Many schools have taken necessary steps to accommodate such students with special needs .They need special attention  not only in school premises, but also in school bus transportation too.

So, what are the facilities that  we can provide for such students?

1. Accept Them

School  are the second home of every child.  Accepting them is an extraordinary way of caring  students especially those with special needs. So the first step should be accepting them as different. 

Accepting them as different doesn’t mean that making them aware of their inabilities. Instead, cultivate confidence in them to confront the world without any fear.

2. Trained Crew

Schools can provide trained crew to take care of special need students. Only dedicated and trained professionals can handle such students with enough care and patience.

Schools can also conduct training classes for the school bus crew. Training will make them aware of special need students and teach them how to take care of such students. 

3. Emergency number

What will you do if a  child with special needs suddenly starts behaving abnormally?  Anybody other than his/her parent may not know to handle such situations.  So it is wise to keep the contact details of  such students.

4. Seating Arrangement

Special needs children may not be comfortable on a compact aisle seat. So give them a comfortable window seat instead of the aisle seat. Secure them with a seat belt. Make sure that you have fastened their seat belt properly. 

Some school vans have seats in both directions. This may create uneasiness for the special needs students. So their seat should be facing forward only. Also make sure that the allotted seat is not near the emergency exit.

5. Moderate Speed 

School bus drivers should take good care in the school bus transportation of special need students. Moderate speed is advisable while driving.  

6. Install Camera

Cameras can absorb every single moment with clarity. This helps in spotting kids who show uneasiness and tiredness while on the bus. And this will decrease the chances of issues such as bullying. 

7. Wheelchair and Braces

You might have seen kids with wheelchair or leg braces. These people might need ramps to get into the bus.  Setting ramps in school buses will be very much helpful for students with special needs. 

Let us spread love among those children who need special care. And make them smile innocently without any fear of falling down. Offer them a hand and hold them up to face the challenges of the world. And let us together create a better world for them.

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Wi-Fi in School Bus: Are Buses Becoming Classrooms on Wheels?

 

Have you ever imagined school bus transportation with Wi-Fi? Till now, you may have thought of school means of transporting students to and from school. But today, in this world of technology, it is not a big deal to set Wi-Fi on school buses. Most of the school buses in US have already made Wi-Fi available to students.

 Evolution of Wi-Fi on school buses

At the beginning, Wi-Fi was used by students mainly for completing school work easily. Today, students are using the Internet to learn (online tutorials), complete projects, clear doubts and communicate with teachers anytime.

The only disadvantage is that students who are not residing near school are unable to get the advantage of Wi-Fi connection. But now, the situation has changed a lot. Now, school buses are parked in areas, where every student gets access to Internet services. This can be of great assistance to school-going students for completing school works (assignments, projects, prepare study notes) and for studies. Also, this subsequently helps to develop the learning capacity of students. 

Certainly, equipping school buses with Wi-Fi will also have a negative impact on school buses. Increased use of Wi-Fi can drain school bus batteries. But, this problem can be prevented by using solar panels. It has been proved helpful in certain districts in US. As the plan went successful, they installed Wi-Fi in 97 more school buses. When more students got Wi-Fi connection, the standard of education also got improved.

Another benefit of providing Wi-Fi connection to students in school buses is that there will be a significant reduction in discipline issues. Your child will never be bullied as bullies will get busy with Wi-Fi connection. Also, school bus drivers will never get distracted as students get less idle time.

Wi-Fi for better School Transportation

Wi-Fi not only provides Internet access to students but also helps in efficient school bus transportation Management. By using Internet, school authorities can inform drivers about route changes and student information by using school bus GPS tracking system. This also improves the communication between drivers and school authorities. Thus, it helps in ensuring student safety.

Obviously, school bus provides a crucial and impeccable service to students, parents as well as school authorities. As technology progresses, school buses should have more access to tools that help to ensure a perfect ride for students. This will not only keep them safe but also provides a good educational experience for your child.

Thus, Wi-Fi ensures safe school bus transportation and takes student's education to the next level.

Here are the key benefits of having Wi-Fi in school buses:

  • School bus becomes an extended classroom by  using the travel time productively 
  • Cheap, increased authenticity and easy to install cum manage
  • Quick connectivity in remote areas with fewer complexities
  • Your child will have control over Internet access especially, in the use of apps and websites 
  • Helps students to complete their school work by accessing Wi-Fi, especially the students who have a long school journey
  • As students become busy with Wi-Fi, there will be no behavioral issues in the school bus

Installation of Wi-Fi devices on school bus can provide better education for all students. A sense of equality arises between students, as the child who resides in remote areas also get Internet connection without much complication. This is because the antenna connected on school buses will have the ability to pull strong signals. 

“Wi-Fi- transforming travelling time to learning time”

 

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Driver Behaviours that Cause School Bus Road Accidents

 

Everyone claims that school bus transportation is one of the safest means of transportation for students. Hence, school bus accidents are the last thing to happen on roads. Sometimes, improper driver behavior may be the root cause of road related accidents. It is an offence to ignore essential traffic rules and regulations, especially while driving a vehicle like school bus.

Some common driver behaviours that may cause school bus road accidents are as follows:

Over Speeding

The major reason for most of the road related accidents is over speeding. It is human psychology to excel in everything; hence, there are certain drivers who never want any other vehicle to overtake them. But, they never think that student road safety is in their hands.

When the vehicle speed increases, naturally, the risk for accidents also increases. As a school bus driver, it is your responsibility to take care of students in the school bus and move in the permitted speed. When you increase speed, your judgement power decreases, thereby, causing accidents or crashes.

Drunken Driving

Even though drunken driving is prohibited, you will be able to witness several school bus drivers consuming alcohol while on duty. It is a big mistake to mix alcohol with driving. This is because alcohol reduces your concentration and thereby, decreases reaction time of a normal human body. Sometimes, your vision becomes blurred, which ultimately leads to crashes. 

As per the reports, for every increase of 0.05% blood alcohol concentration, the risk of accident increases. Hence, when a situation arises where you get boozed up, it is wise to approach someone else to drive your vehicle. 

Distraction to driver

 While driving a vehicle, distraction can be a dreadful enemy for you. Distractions can be from inside or outside the school bus. Students are normally noisy and this will be a great distraction for you. Similarly, the usage of mobile phones can also create a fair lot of distraction. 

When you attend a phone call, a major portion of your brain's concentration level focuses on that call and only the remaining portion focuses on driving the vehicle. This is a dangerous situation as it not only averts the reaction time, but it also reduces the ability to judge the hazard. All you can do if you need to attend the call is to park the vehicle on the side of the road and then, attend the call. This can ensure your safety as well as student safety.

Other distractions on the road include :

  • Adjusting mirrors at the time of driving the school bus
  • Playing stereo or radio loudly on the school bus
  • Animals crossing the road
  • Banner ads and bill boards

You will stay safe, if you move your vehicle slowly and avoid the distraction listed above.

Red Light Jumping

It is a common sight that vehicles cross at the intersection without caring the traffic lights. As a school bus driver, you have to save time; but, it doesn't mean that you should ignore the traffic rules unnecessarily. There is a wrong prejudice that stopping for red signal is wastage of money, time, and fuel. But, the truth is that, when you follow traffic signals properly, you will reach the destination safely and on time. 

When you ever try to jump on red lights, you are not only risking your own safety but also the safety of fellow beings on the road. It is found that whenever you attempt red light jumping, you may lose the ability to see the ongoing traffic,thereby, leading to serious accidents.

Avoiding Safety Gears

Use of safety gears is a must for ensuring school bus safety. You may avoid it as you think it as irritating. It is found that usage of safety gears can help you to survive accidents. Hence, it is better to take appropriate safety measures before starting school bus transportation.

When the above behaviors are carefully handled, rate of school bus related accidents can be reduced to a greater extend. As a responsible school bus driver, it is your prime duty to save the students, who are the future of the country.

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