Tag Archives: school transport service

How to Manage School Transport Effectively

A majority of schools have large fleets of buses that ferry children to and from schools every day. These buses ensure safety for the children. Safety is a major point of concern not only for the parents but for the school authorities as well.

In addition to the quality of education that a school provides, the transportation facilities provided by the school for the safety of their students is a major factor that parents look for when choosing a school for their ward(s).

Given below are few important points which can be practised by the school authorities to manage the school transportation in an effective manner.

1: Manage Routes

It would do best for the school transport department to assign time-saving bus routes in an optimized manner so that it means cost saving in terms of less fuel expenditure.

This activity has to be carefully planned out in such a manner that multiple vehicles of the fleet do not share the same route, do not overlap, or cause any kind of confusion whatsoever. Such a happening would lead to a waste of resources.

2: Bus Station Allocation

This is yet another challenging aspect of managing the school bus fleet.  The school transport department has to create bus stops from where the students can be picked up or dropped off. However, a lot of care has to be taken while deciding the location of these bus stops.

They should be at a convenient spot so that students can reach the bus stop without any difficulty. Secondly, the stops should be in locations that are safe enough for the students to wait till their respective bus comes.

The bus stop location cannot be fixed at spots with heavy traffic as it turns out to be inconvenient and unsafe for both parents and children.

3: Accurate bus timings

Managing the timings of the buses in the fleet is a very important aspect. The bus routes are primarily decided based on the availability of the vehicles in the fleet.

When the routes are allocated, then check the timings of the buses which also includes some buffer time kept aside for any unforeseen delays such as breakdowns, traffic blocks, etc. The buses of the fleet are allocated timing in such a way that only the time required for the travel along the route is allowed for them.

4: Appropriate Fee Structures

Running a fleet of buses is a major cost incurred for the school. The fee structure should be decided on the basis of the running times of the bus and the routes that are traversed.

Other variables to be factored in include the salary of the bus staff, maintenance costs, fuel costs and a facility fee. The fee amounts would be different for different routes that the bus takes and depends on the distance of the bus stops from the school.

SCHOOL-TRANSPORRT-APP5: Allocate Appropriate Routes for Staffs and Students

Firstly, it should be borne in the mind that the student-teacher ratio should be maintained appropriately in each of the buses. The authorities should assign at least two or three teachers per bus.

One of the teachers should necessarily be present in the bus till the end of the route or until the last child in the bus gets off. This ensures the safety of the children travelling in the bus.

6: School Bus Attendance

The attendance roll call for students travelling by each bus should be done every time  bus leaves the school and before the bus reaches the school after the trip completes.

This ensures that the authorities are keeping track of the students. It ensures safety and no slipups whatsoever. Any untoward happening on the bus can be spotted immediately by the authorities.

7: Student Safety

It is most important that the authorities take complete responsibility to ensure safety for those travelling in the bus.
•    Appointing the right driver and bus attendant whose records are clean
•    Maintaining the bus and all its accessories at regular intervals, ensuring that all parts are working
•    It is important to track that the driver’s behaviour on the bus

8: Fleet Tracking

Tracking school buses and occupants is one of the important things that a school should perform to manage school transportation effectively.

This helps the school authorities to take sudden action if any mishaps or any emergencies come during the trip. This in turn helps to tackle the issue without much stress.

Integrating the school transport management software with GPS allows you to get various reports including the wear and tear of the vehicle parts, speed reports, etc.

All these reports help to improve the efficiency of the bus fleet by organizing optimized routes that help to  cut costs as well as ensure a safe trip for the students.

9: Video Surveillance

Video surveillance of the bus every time is essential. It helps school authorities to ensure that everything goes all right with the staff, driver, attendant and students at all times. Any bad behaviour on the part of the driver/staff/students can be stopped in the beginning itself.

10: Fleet Maintenance Software

Use of fleet maintenance software helps to track the vehicle downtimes, parts required, inventory status, expenditure, maintenance schedules, usage of fuel and replacement criteria. Tracking these helps to increase the efficiency and manage the school bus fleet more effectively.

Conclusion

Technology is revolutionizing every aspect of school bus fleet management and it is important that every school’s authorities gather sufficient information to make the most of this and ensure a safe trip to students along with managing it efficiently at the same time.

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How to Choose the Right Software for Your School Transport Company

The safest way to transport students of your school would be to have a complete overview of your entire school transportation system at any point in time.

Budget cuts are happening everywhere, with the result that the transport department is forced to squeeze out the most from every dollar spent.

One of the most efficient ways to cut down fuel costs, staffing and to improve vehicle utilization is by optimization of routes.

However, this can be frustrating, time-consuming and inefficient if done manually. Using software packages for school transport is the best way to get this done neatly and efficiently.

How School Transport Software Package is Useful

From creating the school bus routes, scheduling the drivers, and managing unforeseen incidents, the software package for school bus transport must be in tune with the requirements of the school. Any school transportation management software would address the following objectives:

1: Features that make every-day time-consuming tasks easier

•    Allowing easy preparation of trips with auto optimized routes

•    It should be able to manage the presence of students in each stage of the bus trip

•    A few clicks should be enough to plan the rounds for a specific bus contract for a period of a range of dates

2: The activity would be visible immediately in real time

•    The schedule would be accessible and readable in real time

•    Changing the route of one driver to another would be a matter of just a couple of clicks

3: The software package would be in line with the objectives of the business

•    The package should have tools that can help to manage both the drivers as well as the bus attendants

•    It should help to plan the maintenance and renewal of the bus fleet

•    It should give the difference between the monthly projected turnover of the bus and the actuals easily

But while choosing the right software for your school transport company, you must consider certain things as now the market place have flooded with many school bus transportation software kits with various packages. Here we are showcasing certain key things you must take care of.

1: Compatibility with other software

The routing and transportation management software will operate optimally when it is compatible with the other existing programs in your system.

If the integration is good, there is a good possibility that you can derive a variety of reports from the package that will sure make your transport system management easy and efficient.

2: Features of the bus transport system software

The important features that your software package for transport management should possess are the distances to be plied, the route layouts and their complexities, the number of users, etc., among others.

Advanced packages have features that include a layout map of the areas to be covered, maps that can be edited to add new routes and stops, and travel restrictions.  Some other features are:

•    Assignment of bus stops to students (these are defined by the users)

•    Accommodation of right-sided pick-up points

•    Generation of bus passes

•    Option for scheduling pick-up and drop-off points (alternate locations)

•    Calendar facility

•    Student-bus tour history for purpose of report generation

•    Options to customize necessary things

3: Training and Support

Any transport management software package would work best only if you know how to use it effectively. For this, you selected package provider has to provide the required training so that it fits the requirements of your institution.

The software provider should provide training during the time the package is laid out and also beyond this period so that all issue can be sorted out and it can be made to function the way in which it should.

4: Type of software vendor

Rather than choosing a vendor that provides a generalized transportation management package, it is wiser to go for a single vendor that provides a customized end-to-end solution for your specific needs.

Though the former option may cost you less, you may end up making it more expensive if you want amends to be made for the package to suit your system. An end-to-end customized solution will function seamlessly.

5: Calendar-based routing and scheduling

A calendar-based bus schedule helps to organize a trip and allows for the creation of trips quickly, optimally and efficiently. You can edit the schedules with ease. You can even plan for what-if scenarios with efficiently structured advanced software packages.

6: GPS Tracking

Software packages with GPS tracking facility allow you to both track and monitor every bus of your school fleet. Additional information of student in a particular route can be facilitated in integrating RFID options and providing the students with tracking cards. This is precious information as far as the school authorities and parents are concerned.

7: Bus Driver Management

Efficient software programs will help to schedule trips based on drivers’ experience, seniority and expertise. Al trips can further be made to connect to payroll so that month-end salary pay-outs become easier. All these can help to improve retention rates of drivers over the longer term.

8: Management of Changes in Students’ Schedules

See if the software package allows for editing a student’s route to a new one. It should allow setting a student’s status as ‘on vacation’ if they want to stop the school bus transportation for a specific period of time.

9: Matching of Plan vs. Actual

Analysis of GPS data helps the drivers to follow routes that have already been designated. Drivers find it easier to follow the maps of planned routes rather than generic maps displayed by Google.

10: Students with Special Needs

Transportation for students with special needs stands improved by following optimized routes with minimum time on board and proves helpful for generating student data for student reimbursements.

11: Availability of the features on mobile phones

It is greatly convenient for the school authorities as well as parents to receive any notification/alert related to the transportation on mobile phones in real time.

The software package can be designed to send tracking and monitoring signals to servers which disseminates the information to mobile phones.

Facilities that users look out for in School Bus Transportation Management Software

•    Easily input data regarding the pick-up and drop-off stations for the students

•    Maintain details of all the buses (vehicle number, insurance, fuel details, etc.)

•    Maintain details of all students such as contact details, pick-up and drop-off point, etc.

•    SMS facility for parents if any change in scheduled routes or timings

•    All data related to bus maintenance and insurance payments maintained

•    Define bus charges and timings for students for pick-up and drop-off points

•    Easy generation of reports

Conclusion

A software package which helps to manage all the sub-processes that are involved in student transportation through the school buses includes passenger tracking, route optimization, ease driver-parent-school communication, generate comprehensive reports, and facilitate real-time management of different parts of the transportation service. This will help to improve the savings and money control and will ensure student safety.

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How to Install Car Seats In School Bus?

Drivers depend on car seats to keep babies safe. However, according to some experts, only 15% of the car seats are correctly installed guaranteeing the safety and protection of the child.

Before you start installing a car seat in the school bus, know the type of car seats you have. Is it a rear-facing car seat or a front-facing one? Next, take a look at its design to understand if it has to be fixed to the school bus’ seat belt, or the anchor belts attached to the car seat, or to both.

Let us look deeply onto it.

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Installing a Rear-Facing Car Seats in School Bus

Step 1: The carrier and the base are two different parts and must be separated. You need to install the base as this is what will remain in the car.

Go through the manufacturer’s instructions to understand how the carrier can be removed from the base. Generally, this is done with the help of a lever or button placed at the base.

Step 2: Check for the belts attached to the base. Some car seats have a belt with two hooks that can latch onto the designated spots near the seat belt area of your vehicle. If these are the kind of belts in your car seat, snap the hooks onto the metal bars of your school bus’ seat.

  • Make sure the base is resting right against the seat. Tighten the anchor belt in case of a gap.
  • Check the instructional manual to ensure that this is the way the base has to be fixed.
  • Some car seats have another belt that needs to go through the car seat to secure the base and provide additional security.

ALTERNATIVELY,

If the car seat which you are going to install does not have an anchor belt with hooks, it will have a buckle to securely put through the school bus’ belt opening. The seatbelt must go through straight without any twists or turns.

  • Check the manual thoroughly to understand where the belt has to be attached in case of doubt.
  • Every school bus and every car seat is different and, therefore, the manufacturer’s manual must be referred to.
  • A car seat that is not properly latched can be dangerous since the child is at the risk of getting injured.

Step 3: Fix the infant carrier onto the base. The direction of the carrier must be such that the child is facing the rear side. When the base and carrier are correctly fitted, you must hear a click sound. You can practice placing and separating the carrier a couple of times to know how it’s done.

Step 4: Check the angle of the base. Rear-facing car seats can be adjusted to different angles. Young infants need a more reclined position as it helps them to breathe properly.

  • Car seat carriers have level indicators to help you understand which is right for your child. Read the level and check if this is right as per your child’s weight/age/height.
  • Alter the base angle if you feel your child is not comfortable.
  • Always change the angle as your child grows.

Installation a Front Facing Car Seats in School Bus

Step 1: Take the seat belt through the car seat. Front facing car seats have openings at the back or bottom through which a seat belt needs to pass.

This seat belt must be buckled into the school bus’ seat on the other side. Once the belt has passed through and you’ve buckled it, push it down and pull to ensure that it has locked well. Check that the belt is straight and there are no twists or bundling.

Step 2: Some car seat designs include an attached tether. This can be taken over the top of the vehicle’s seat to latch on the anchor behind the seat. If your car seat and vehicle’s seat both support this locking, attach the tether to the anchor and tighten.

ALTERNATIVELY,

If the tether is not attached, you need to use latches to secure the car seat. Check the bottom of the car seat for two buckles with hooks.

These should latch onto the designated spots of the school bus seat where the back and bottom join. Tighten the belt in a manner that the back of the car seat is snug against the back of the vehicle’s seat and the base is snug to the base.

Safety Guidelines

Proper installation of the car seat in school bus is not enough to ensure the safety of the child while traveling. There are a few other factors that you must keep in mind to ensure that the child remains uninjured on the school bus journey. Here’s what you must check:

  1. Choose the right spot to fix the car seat. Child car seats should not be installed in the first few or last rows of the school bus. This is because these seats are unsafe and experience more jerks than the middle rows.
  2. The seat must fit well according to the dimensions of your vehicle’s seat. At any point in time, the base of the car seat must not move more than 1 inch.
    Pull and push your car seat in different directions after installation to check this movement and in case the car seat is moving a lot, do not place the child in it. Tighten the belts to first fix the car seat correctly.
  3. Use the shoulder straps and lap harness to buckle the child into the seat. The child must not be left loosely in the seat. The chest clip must also be buckled properly.
    Tighten all the belts to make sure that your child is safe and comfortable as well. Please ensure that none of the straps are twisted or bundled.

Keep the instructions manual handy to be sure that you have done everything correctly. Student safety in the car seat is in your hands and you must double check everything.

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5 Quick Planning Tips for a Successful Field Trip

 

Field trips, the two magical words generate energy in your students and considerable nervousness in you. But perfect planning can help you tackle any possible difficulty during field trips.

Schools normally plan field trips on the school bus because they are confident about the safety that school transport service provides. With detailed planning along with some key steps, you can easily ensure enjoyable learning experiences for your students.

Just like school transport, enabling better safety during field trips also matters.

Read Must: How to Handle Emergencies? Tips for School Bus Drivers

5 quick tips to keep in mind while planning a field trip:

  1. Rules and Regulations: Before planning the field trip, be sure about the existing field trip manual or policies. The whole trip becomes much smoother after familiarizing the current policies and procedures. Planning should be made without violating the rules set by government.  
  2. Safety: Safety must be the prime concern before scheduling the field trip. GPS tracker can help rescue the school bus if it gets lost. Teachers and school staff must be prepared for any startling accident(s) or incident(s) that may happen. Emergency contact data and any approved prescriptions should be brought to the field trip.  Once the destination is fixed, arrange a meeting discussing about the precautions.  
  3. Supervision: Based on the number of students participating in the field trip, school staff should follow adult supervision strategy. Children belonging to Elementary, Middle and High School have different supervisory necessities that should be seriously taken into consideration. 
  4. Expenses: If you are organizing a field trip to a spot with fewer participants, fixing a far place can be quite expensive for each member. Pre-plan the hotels, search for hotels with discounts. Consider children belonging to low-income families while planning the trip, they do have certain limitations.  Don’t involve children while planning the trip; it can create embracement for children belonging to low-income.
  5. Confirm Details: Gather the details of the children participating in the field trip and confirm it. Be double sure that you have collected more than one contact number of each member participating in the event. It’s advisable to bring the parent of any member.

Read Also: 10 Steps Schools Must Take To Ensure School Bus Transportation Safety

More Tips:

Teachers must carry

  • First-aid kit
  • Contact Information
  • Attendance sheet
  • Cell phone
  • Students Identities

Don’t Ignore

  • Participant list with their contact number
  • Check the weather of the place in advance
  • Reconfirm accommodation details

Preparing others

  • Hold a meeting with the bus driver
  • Obtain parental permission
  • Prepare chaperones for their roles
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