Tag Archives: school transportation 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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Dubai Taxi Corporation Introduced Smart Buses with Latest Technologies

 

Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC) introduced smart buses with latest technologies. DTC took this initiative for making school transport service of the Dubai government excellent and safe. It has been reported that about 3000 students from eight schools participated in the service.

Read also:

                New Issues Emerges Over School Bus Safety in Abu Dhabi

Mohammed Said Al Dhuhori, who is the Director of DTC's School Transport, said that new buses will be installed with surveillance cameras, which is connected to monitors of the DTC's Control Center.

The cameras can track each and every movement of student activities, including sitting and descending from the school bus. Also, he added that buses will be fitted with GPS tracking system which gives instant notification to and from school to parents.

For more safety, every school buses have also fitted a switch, which needs to be disabled by driver whenever the bus stops. This helps drivers  to check whether students have left the school bus.

Al Dhuhori added that, for getting this school bus transport service, one can either dial DTC's Customer Service Center number 042080555 or visit any school's customer service staff. He also informed that smart buses have been chosen as the bus that obey various guidelines issued by the Public Transport Agency and world's highest school transportation service.

Source

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12 Questions to Ask About School Bus Ride Quality

 

Most of us send children to school via school bus due to safety reasons. But the fact is that, you don't know basic facts about your child's school transportation. You never try to know where your child is going, who is going along with them, and what happens when they reach the destination.

Must Read:

 How to Teach Students the Importance of School Bus Safety

Here follows 12 questions that every parent should ask before the school bus trip and entire academic year:

1. At What Time will the School Bus Come?

You should ask school authorities about the arrival time of school bus before your child's first school day. Sometimes, transportation officials will never let you know about the delay in child's pick up. Hence as a parent, you should know these details in advance. You can ask the school transportation authorities about the bus scheduling in advance and thus send the child to the school bus at that time. Try to find out the exact time you should pick up your child from the stop.

2. Who will be on the School Bus with your Child?

A driver and an aide will always be there with your child for assuring school bus safety. You can interact with them, introduce yourselves and ask for their names. This can be helpful as you can tell them certain information they need to know such as a medical problem, behavioral problem etc. Also tell them to report any problems that happen on the school bus.

3. How Child's Behavior on the Bus?

Make sure your child has an appropriate seat if your child is small or having low muscle bones. You need to fix this issue with the relevant authorities and should be decided before the child's first day of school. Also, in the case of older children, the bus seat given to them should be appropriate and comfortable. For kids in wheelchairs, you should ask bus personnel, whether there are enough equipments for getting your child on and off the bus.

4. Which Route is taken by School Bus for Getting to School?

Try to learn the school bus route yourself by following the bus on the first day. This can help you to find about stops and check out the route to the school bus takes. You can complain to school authorities if the chosen route is a complicated one.

5. What Time the Bus Gets to School?

You cannot assume that the school bus reaches the school at the perfect time. For knowing about this in detail, you can build a good relationship with teachers and bus personnel. You can ask them about the schedule and thus know whether there is any change in it or not.

6. Where Do Your Kids Go After Getting Off the Bus?

As kids get off the bus, they sometimes go to auditoriums or canteen than going straight to classrooms. For the safety of your child in school bus, you can ask school authorities to provide an aide to make sure that they reached classroom rather than roaming here and there.

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How to Make School bus Journey Entertaining

7. Are all of my Child's Classmates on the Same Bus?

It is a good idea to keep your child's classmates on the same bus. But it is not possible. You can discuss with your child about their bus journey. This will help them to remember which students are on which bus and the number of the bus your child's classmates are on.

8. When Does the Bus Leave to Come Home?

As a parent, you should confirm the departing time of the bus so that you can plan to pick them up accordingly. Sometimes children in extra classes dismiss their classes earlier than the regular school schedule.

9. Which Route does the Bus, Take Home?

Usually, school buses take the same route to school as it takes from school. Your child may sometimes get on a different bus to get down to different location. In such case, you should find out the route that particular bus takes, and thus you can have a general idea about where your child is.

10. What Time will the Bus Return?

It is your responsibility to make sure that somebody greets your child when they are dropped from the school bus. Always know the exact time by which the school bus return and thus makes proper arrangements to pick them.

11. Who Takes Complaints?

You can ask contact details of school authorities and thus register complaints at the time of emergency. Thus you can contact them, if there is any problem in school bus transportation.

12. Is School Bus Ride the Best Choice for Your Child?

School bus is the best one for kids in special education. If you have the ability to transport your child yourself, then better do that task than sending your child via school bus.

All these 12 questions should be asked to relevant authorities at the right time for ensuring a safe journey for your child.

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Why Teach the Basic Principles of Road Safety to Kids

Road safety is of great importance and it is essential for the healthy development of children. Children are most vulnerable to road accidents and injuries. This occurs due to lack of guidance and supervision by adults.

School transportation service is a strategic solution to issues related to student transportation. Even though school transportation is said to be safer, it is our responsibility to teach them the basic principles of road safety. Proper guidance should be given at the right time.

Why is Teaching Safety Rules Important?

Teaching road and school bus safety rules to children are important because of certain reasons. The behaviour of children is unpredictable. Hence, it is impossible to know exactly what they will do when they confront traffic.

Children are smaller and hence it is difficult for drivers to see them. Children usually get frightens if they find any vehicle moving towards them. They freeze for a moment. This makes the situation worse.

Children might be unaware of the safety precautions they ought to take while crossing road. Even an empty street is not devoid of dangers. It's wholly the responsibility of adults to make them understand safety precautions that they must take.

Let’s begin with the most basic concepts that every child must know:

  • Explain what they must pay attention to and make them understand the consequences they face if they don’t
  • Teach basic rules while being pedestrian
  • Learn and obey traffic rules
  • Be careful  while walking through driveways and hidden or narrow passages
  • Be aware of the dangers of crossing between parked vehicles
  • Cross the road only through zebra crossings
  • Avoid running between cars
  • Never walk behind any vehicles
  • Must look both ways before crossing the road

Children never think about vehicles once they get out of the classroom. Their eagerness often overrides their caution in traffic. Being physically smaller children are not easily seen by drivers hence they are more vulnerable to injuries. In this case, there are certain responsibilities for parents as well.

Here are some tips for parents to keep their children safely are:

  • Hold their hands while crossing the road
  • Make them wear conspicuous clothing
  • Choose the safest place to cross
  • Remind them to concentrate on the road as they may get distracted easily
  • Always use the zebra crossing, teach them too
  • Warn them to look out for cyclists or motorcyclists
  • Ask them to observe traffic carefully so that they could cross the road whenever you are not with them

The school bus is one of the safest modes of transportation for students. But accidents can occur even when the child is waiting for the bus.

Parents can ask their children not to play near the road while they are waiting for the bus. Always assure that the child is waiting at the allotted bus stop.

While getting off the bus give them certain advice: get off the bus without pushing; after getting off the bus try not to wait near the road; wait till the bus has driven past and thus can see the road properly.

Here are some tips for school bus drivers to keep their students safe:

  • Ensure children are away from the bus while picking up and dropping off them mainly before moving and while taking reverse
  • If the streets are lined with bushes and trees, then be careful about neighbourhood kids
  • Make sure the children are seated properly when the bus is running
  • Always teach children to not to make noise when driving in a railroad crossing to hear the train alerts
  • Ensure children don’t put heads, hands or any object outside the window

But not only parents and drivers are responsible, children are too responsible for their safety. They must obey certain things while going on a school bus.

Here are some school bus safety tips for children they must aware of:

  • Maintain a minimum distance from the bus until it stops and the driver indicates you to enter
  • Always make use of handrail while entering and exiting the bus
  • Keep aisles of the bus clear
  • Obey all the instructions given by the driver
  • Don’t wait for the bus in the street instead wait on the sidewalk

Whenever a child accident occurs, most of the time fault is with the child. This points us to the fact that teaching the basic principles of road safety is very much necessary. Hence, it is the responsibility of the parents and teachers to guide and supervise them appropriately.

Remember the fact: Saving a child is similar to saving a family

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5 Tips to Tackle Bad Drivers

 

School Transportation, no doubt is the safest means to transport your kids. School bus drivers do a great job. They are skilled, capable and enjoy working with children. But there are some drivers, who engage in risky behaviour while driving.

Driving needs a lot of concentration and care, especially when you are dealing with children. A reckless school bus driver is a black mark for school transportation service.

While some school bus drivers drive carelessly, speeding and skipping stop signs or red lights, others might lose their temper with misbehaving kids on the bus. Some are unreliable, arriving late or forgetting to pick up a child. You're entitled to safe, reliable school transportation service, so it's essential to take immediate action if your child happens to encounter a bad driver.

Read Also: 5 Ways to Hire the Right School Bus Driver for Your School

Here are the useful tips:-

  1. Call the authorities

As soon as possible contact the principal or the school authorities. Calmly explain the reason for the complaint. Provide details about the complaint along with sufficient proof. If you are unaware about the name of the driver, explain his physical description

  1. GPS

School administration can use GPS for tracking school bus in real time. There are a lot of additional advantages that comes with GPS. From unwanted idling of the bus to scheduling the right route, GPS is the best.

  1. Install CCTV

It’s the key to reality. Installing a CCTV inside the bus gives footage of the happening inside the bus and how children are treated inside the bus. Nothing goes unnoticed.

  1. Organise

Call other parents and discuss about the relevance of the issue. Don’t wait until PTA meeting to raise the issue. It’s better to start early.

  1. School Details

Attaching school details in the bus can help the passengers to inform the school if anything happens. If the driver doesn’t follow the instruction and drives harshly, any passenger can contact the school number provided in the bus.

Warning:

Under any circumstances no dangerous driver must be employed for the transportation of children.

You may also like: Is School Bus Safety The Responsibility of Drivers Alone?

Things Parents Should Never Say To Your Kids’ School Bus Driver

  1. My child won't depend on the school bus, its really dangerous”

A school bus is designed to be safe. Parents should evaluate the school bus before judging it. School bus has got all necessary school bus safety measures.

  1. “My child was being bullied and you did nothing?”

Sadly parents think that school bus drivers do nothing to prevent bullying. But that’s not true. Students are given instruction to follow the school bus driver but they don’t.

  1. “Are you sure it was my kid?”

Some parents have got blind faith upon their children but that’s the greatest mistake you can do to a child. Denying their mistakes is not the right way to raise them.

  1. “I am sure, the other kid hit him first”

Even if the kid punched your child, he should report it to the concerned authority. You just cannot walk away and blame other children.

  1. Oh yes! I know he is a trouble maker

This simply means, “I know my kid is a trouble maker but I cannot do anything about it”. Be the responsible parent.

  1. What do you mean you can’t come to our house?

There are limitations for a school bus driver. He cannot make it to every house door. Drivers need a safe place to turn around their vehicle and as you know it’s not that easy to turn a bus.

  1. Sorry! I am late

Whatever the reason is, being late affects other children as well.

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