Tag Archives: School bus transportation

How To Start A Student Transportation Business

In today’s world, parents struggle to find a balance between the conflicting schedules of their children and their own. A child’s daily schedule might include being picked and dropped from pre-school.

Later in the day, the child might need to go for extra activities like Sports, arts or language classes. The different timings and locations make it hard for busy parents to pick and drop them from school and from the other varied activities.

Read Also: 9 Ways To Reduce School Bus Transportation Costs

A solution to this wide-spread problem would be a trusted and viable source of transport which would reach the children to various places at the right times and bring them back home safely.

This type of service would be of great help to working parents who cannot take time off to take their children around.

1. Business Plan

Starting a children’s transport business is like running any other business. The business involves more than picking up and dropping children.

The key to success lies in marketing the idea and finding the right users. A research will reveal the markets that can be tapped for business.

The idea or motive behind starting a business should be the lifeline of the business. In children’s transportation business is customer and service driven.


A service that offers something different, from what the specific or similar industry do, will make it stand apart.

A plan detailing what ages and areas are to be served, hours of operation, fee structure, finances have to be drawn. A well written business plan will serve as a reference for future checks throughout the year.

Structure of the business will depend on whether it is a partnership or sole proprietorship. Once the structure is finalized local and state licenses, tax identification numbers and other legal requirements have to be applied for.

Sufficient capital is required to pay expenses until the business becomes profitable. These funds come from own savings, friends or private investors. Bank loans can be availed to start the business.

When executing you enter the market in a low or medium key. It can be further expanded depending on the response.

Workspace can be one’s home or space shared with another business or a leased office.  Customer is the key to any business.

2. Objective

The objective of a transportation business catering to children should be to provide a safe and convenient method of transportation. It should be licensed, reliable and available to parents at reasonable prices.

The aim of the business is service. The children’s transportation business is service driven offering maximum satisfaction to customers. The priority is to become a trusted source for parents to rely on.

3. Market

Children’s transportation service is required and highly essential for any child activity that does not have its own form of transport.

Day-care facilities, pre-school, activity centers, recreational arena that do not provide transport facilities can be targeted for business.

Periodical agreements with them will assure a minimum number of children availing this service.

The market should be focused on the middle class working parents, both single and dual. This segment of the population is found to be the most active and so are their children.

The working parents are interested in activities to keep their children occupied. Their children avail day-care services summer schools and sports activities.

Households with children under the age of 18 have to be targeted. The Organizational focus should be on children. Their safety and welfare should be the priority.

Densely populated residential areas which are in proximity to the day cares or activity centers can be identified as the area of operation. A specified radius in kilometers can be fixed within which the transport can be used.

4. Promotion

Formal introduction letters giving an explanation of the services provided are to be mailed. A request to respond if interested is to be included.

The letters can be sent to households in the vicinity identified for operation. They can be sent to day-care owners, pre-schools, recreational activity centers.

The brochure must include operational information required by the clients. It should include the features and benefits of using the service.

Rules and regulations, hours and rates should also be mentioned in detail. Description of your qualifications, the process of selection of drivers, reliability and safety of vehicles can be mentioned.

Advertisements can be inserted in the local publications. As a part of personal selling, parents and schools in the community can be made aware of the existence of the intended service.

Creating special offers for the first time users and repeat customers can ensure customer loyalty.

5. Vehicle Selection

The type and size of the vehicle needed is to be decided initially. Mini-vans are easy to maneuver in traffic but the number of seats may be limited. Small buses require special operating licenses but can carry more passengers.

Mini-vans which meet the federal safety standards are a good option to ply in populated areas.

Child safety features of seat belts, safety locks, shoulder harnesses and dual airbags are a must and should be provided in the vans.

Stringent maintenance schedules have to be adhered to ensure that the vehicles are safe and reliable to travel.

Read Also: School Students Using Public Transportation – Pros and Cons

GPS units and radio communication equipment in the vehicle would be an added advantage. If special needs children are served handicap capable vehicles would be needed.

6. Staff

Every business has two main aspects. One is the customer and the other the employee. If attractive benefits are offered to employees they will take care of the customers.

If interesting options are provided to customers they will use the service which leads to increase in profits.

If the business has to run smoothly, dedicated employees should be hired. Hiring good people will increase productivity.

They will cause less trouble. It is important that they are paid on time, appreciated in public and reprimanded in private.

In a children’s transportation business the driver is the main employee. He is the one in constant interaction with the children, their parents and the owners of the business. So hiring competent drivers is the first step to ensure success.

Drivers with a valid chauffeur’s driving license are to be recruited. A background check has to be done. They should have had previous driving experience withexcellent track records.

They must have a First aid and CPR certificate. They must be genuinely interested in the care and welfare of children.

Other employees too should be chosen carefully as they are the ones who talk to customers. They should be easily available and should make the customer feel important. They should be capable to respond to requests as soon as possible.

Employee training and monitoring are very critical to providing an excellent service to customers. Background checks are done for all employees. All employees have to be trained in customer service and office procedures.

Drivers need to work with parents while establishing routes. They have to keep a detailed record of pick-ups and drop-offs. A time log, records of distance and fuel consumption are essential.

 They have to have good time management to be punctual at all times. They have to be patient with children. They should be able to handle the pressure of traffic outside and also the screaming and noisy kids inside the vehicle.

Periodic feedback from the users is to be sought to ensure that the service is to the satisfaction of the customer. Any shortcomings need to be addressed with minimal delays.

Checking constantly or on a daily basis with the drivers and employees on what they require to perform better is essential. Resources have to be provided so that they can to do their job most effectively.

7. Vehicle Utilization

The vehicles can be utilized to transport children during the peak times – early morning 7-8am, mid-afternoon 11-12 and evening 3-5pm. Routes can be charted taking into account the number of children and destinations.

During non-peak hours administrative and marketing work can be done. The vehicles can be used to run emergency trips to clinics with sick children or for prior appointments.

8. Fee Structure

Rate schedules should be handed over to parents once they have enrolled their ward for the service. Detailed rates for scheduled and un-scheduled one-way trips and round trips and for extra miles have to be shown on the rate schedule. Any discounts for siblings and incentives of extra rides have to be mentioned.

Fees should be taken in advance. Payment can be made in cash or by cheque. Credit cards can be accepted if required.

9. Operating Expenses

A detailed record of day to day expenses has to be maintained. A competent accountant can keep track of the progress and problems of the business in real time.


In addition to the wages of the staff, the budget should include the cost of maintenance of the vehicle, regular cleaning charges of vehicles and fuel costs.

10. Special Requirement

Some states stipulate other requirements to operate in their areas.

Safety concerns require photo identities of the children. The necessary equipment and camera to create the ID cards will be required.

Liability insurance to cover vehicles, employees and passengers are required.

A thorough screening for drugs and background check for all employees including drivers have to be done.

Fingerprint clearance is required by many states if working with children. This is to ensure that the employees are not a threat to the safety of the children.

The business allows the advantage of being your own boss.  The service offered is highly needed and appreciated. The business is ideal for at-home parents and those who love children or special needs children.

Read Also: Pros And Cons of Outsourcing School Transportation

The business can be expanded if required. At the beginning it would be advisable to concentrate on hiring the right people. Later on, when a good customer base has been formed and goodwill is attained, professionals can be hired and advanced technology can be used to manage the business.

The adverse factors are driving in bad weather, high insurance rates and distractions from boisterous children.

A friendly and efficient child transportation system will offer parents the comfort of knowing that their children are in the best hands.

How To Reduce School Zone Traffic Congestion

Traffic congestion at school zones is a safety concern for all due to queuing up of vehicles and poor visibility ahead. It inconveniences parents, students, school authorities, school bus drivers, police, and the residential neighborhood.

The number of school-going students being driven to school by private cars has risen considerably in urban areas. The growth in the use of cars by parents to drop off and pick up students sees fewer children walking or biking to school.

Unanticipated traffic and a large number of students at the school gates at a time render all arrangements made by schools ineffective to control traffic congestion.

Steps to Reducing School Zone Traffic Congestion

Vehicle congestion at school entrances conflicts with pedestrians and cyclists coming to school. They may not have access to sidewalks. School parking areas may be unorganized.

School buses may block the visibility of pedestrians and cyclists. Parents and motorists may display unruly behavior parking in no-zone areas, double parking, speeding or ignoring traffic restrictions.


A study on the movement of the traffic in and around the school would be the first step before rules for traffic reduction are set in place.

Knowing the type of roads around, availability of parking spaces, type of vehicles – vans, buses, cars- that use the road, pedestrian safe ways are a necessity to drawing up traffic plans.

1. Education on Alternative Means of Transport:

One of the best ways to ease school zone traffic congestion is to reduce the number of vehicles that converge at school gates during opening and closing times.

Parents state traffic hazards, time constraints, distance, and bad weather as reasons for transporting their children to school. Parents have to be educated about the alternate modes of transport their child can avail of.

They have to be appraised of the role they have in reducing school zone traffic congestion and increasing student safety. This information can be provided through leaflets or PTA newsletters.

Parents and students have to be educated on the benefits of walking or cycling to school.

The health aspect and the impact on the environment are to be incorporated into the curriculum so that students understand the concept and are encouraged to walk. The school can reward them with a point system.

Students can join walking school bus programs where an adult escorts a group of children along a pre-determined route to school.

Children living within walking distance of the school can avail of this method which keeps pedestrian safety in mind.

The school bus is the best option for students who live further away from school. Studies show that an approximate number of 38 cars are required to transport an average busload of 45 children.

Availing school bus services can reduce traffic congestion at school access points as well as on the roads.

Car-pooling is another option for students living in close-by locations.

2. Access points

The number of entry and exit points in school has to be regulated. Larger the number of these points, greater will be the congestion. Situating these entrances and exits around the school where the road is bigger or accessibility to parking spaces is nearer will reduce the congestion.

Also Read: Top 18 Road Safety Rules to Teach your Students

Students walking or cycling to school have to be provided with separate entrances and exits.

This will reduce the risk of accidents and traffic hold-ups around the school. Students should not be allowed to ride their cycles within the school premises.

All-access points have to be locked during school hours and opened only when students have to be let in and out. Security guards have to be stationed at all access points.

3. Pick up and Drop off points

Pick up and Drop off points

Pick up and drop off points have to be designated for cars and buses. A dedicated drop off zone away from the parking area will help in improving traffic flow.

The use of alternate routes in and out of school has to be encouraged so that all vehicles do not congregate in one location.

School volunteers or staff can escort children from car to school. This will quicken the drop-off process.

Read Also: Top 10 School Bus Companies

Directing different types of traffic to different locations around the school can help reduction in congestion. Bus pick-up and drop-off are assigned to one area while parents pick and drop in another area. Staff can be provided parking on a different side.

4. Parking

Reduce School Zone Traffic Congestion

Temporary parking spaces for pick-up and drop-off can be created by using sign-boards for peak hours only.

Parking spaces near schools in urban areas can be very limited. Unless the school has a dedicated parking area it is extremely difficult to get parking slots near the school.

City councils and district councils may be approached for additional space which might infringe into neighboring areas. Consent of neighbors is essential and hence a plan can be negotiated with them for utilizing the space only during school hours after which it will remain vacant for their use.

High school children driving to school have to be given clear instructions and lessons on how to park in the areas assigned to them.

5. Traffic Conditions

Reduce School Zone Traffic Congestion

The timings of traffic lights in the area can be revised if necessary to suit the school period. This requires coordination with the local traffic authorities and the adjacent residential areas.

Re-routing of streets will force drivers to seek alternative routes. ‘No entry’ or ‘One-way’ signs on roads leading to the school can divert traffic away from the school.

Road humps can be installed to reduce the speed of vehicles.


Increased police patrolling during peak hours can be of help. Double parking, waiting in no parking zones, parking across driveways and parking too close to pedestrian crossings can be curtailed with patrolling.

Doubling of traffic fines for parking offenses and speeding in the school zones are deterrents and reduce congestion.

6. School Timings

Start and finish timings for elementary, middle and high school students can be staggered. Though it might prove inconvenient for parents who have children in all sections, the staggering of school timings can reduce traffic to a large extent.

Read Also: Buying a School Bus – 10 Important Points You Should Know

There is no single solution to traffic management to avoid congestions at schools. Traffic issues differ for each school depending on their size and location. Though the general guidelines can be followed each issue has to be analyzed and dealt with accordingly.

10 School Bus Pre-Trip Inspection Checklist

Unlike other transportation fleets, school buses have an enlightening purpose that demands special care; for it is the wagon that the future of our kind travels every day.

So, it’s a crime to look at it recklessly. School buses are more of a classroom than a wagon, where pupils learn the rules of the roads lively as well. So, it is essential to keep it on the lines of rules all around.

Fortunately, our rules and regulations are very concerned about our young growing generation. The rigorous set of laws and practices could instill the importance of keeping the school buses fit and flair all the way.

Read Also: School Bus Drivers Training – 10 Tips For City Driving

As the teamwork ofmolded machines and parts, every vehicle will get wear and tear over time, no different are school buses. So, it is necessary to inspect the vehicles as many times as possible. Specifically, before heading for a trip with the children.

 Since we cannot forecast the condition and the life of machine parts, either we have to dare to meet any trials across the way,or we have to make sure our vehicle is fit enough for any terrain. Sadly, we cannot go with the former in the case of school buses.

Hence, a thorough pre-trip inspection can assure that the school bus is working and ensure a smooth and comfy journey for the kids all the way.


Notably, it is the drivers who are the responsible hands for taking care of all about the wagons, and there is some list of factors that we have to check before a trip.

So, let’s check what the pre-trip inspection checklists for school bus are.

1. Body Inspection

There are chances of slack connections and broken shields and window panes, scratchy bumpers and shaded lamps, blurry paint on our school bus. Giving a glance across the body of the bus will help us to figure out the visible damages, dents,scratch on it.

Body inspection spans all the way around the bus including, the glossy mirrors, grills, window panes, tires, lamps, wipers, shields, wheel nuts, reflectors and whatever visible to our naked eye.

Moreover, it enables us to catch out any part that is not working properly. Just remember we cannot leave out anything at least.

2. Engine Check

It is more likely a full heart check-up, so it takes time and patience. The engine consists of numerous parts, so it needs an in-depth analysis to figure out issues hiding inside.

The whistling valves, tubes, wires, chamber, seals, caps, lube tanks, engine chamber, filters, plugs, radiator, battery, pistons, spark plugs, timing gears, conveyor, shafts, etc. involves in an engine check.

So, any of it hesitate to work with the others in abruptly, the whole system stop working. Moreover, there are many forms of issues that can arise in an engine.

Leaking oils, broken seals, settled grits, blocked vents are some of the common persistent problems occurs on the engine. Hence, we have to spare some moments to understand the exact issues going on the engine.

Plus, we have to have a conventional understanding of the variations about the sounds, vibrations, and unusual precipitations to find the problems intact.

3. Light and horn

Lightsare critical elements in school buses since it has to take cuts and turns more often. So, it is essential to look over the lights, indicators and tail lamps thoroughly. If it requires any repair or replacement, we have to point out it to the mechanic immediately.

The list of lights in a school bus is a bit higher than the common wagons, and each one in it shall maintain accurately. The connections, brightness, wiring also have to take into inspection before every trip.

The same actions have to be followed humbly on the horns as well. Importantly, we have to check the capacity of the battery, for these parts are relying on the battery vastly. Any unusualbehaviors should repair immediately before the journey.

4. Gears and pedals

When the engine propels the pistons and shafts vigorously,and the gears, levers,andpedals failed to transport it to wheels, everything goes in vain. Hence, the prominence of gears and pedals are not less to any other parts.

To avoid unexpected troubles during the trips, we have to inspect the gears, brake, and clutch and accelerate pedals regularly and have to repair and maintain it accurately. Remember always, “Prevention is better than cure.”

5. Lubrication

Lubrications are like a kind of unavoidable catalyst in vehicles machine operation. Probably, the drivers know how the wagons crave for it when they run short of lubricationeverytime. Hence, for the proper functioning of machine parts and longer life of vehicles, it is essential far and wide.

So, we have to check all parts that require ample amount of lubrication across the vehicle. Primarily, for the moving pedals, rotating joints, and shafts, steeringcolumns,and attachments, etc.

Read Also: How School Bus Drivers Can Help Protect Disabled Children

Moreover, the lubricants that we use for the buses also matter to tap the efficiency of vehicles. So, always keep an eye over the parts and thevarieties of oils we chose to apply.

6. Emergency and Safety Equipment’s

The safety of school bus is an imperative factor of concern. Since we cannot foretell the things ahead in our roads, every school bus must equip with all safety and emergency measures to handle any situation seamlessly. Also, the driver and other vehicle staffs have to train to operate the equipmentquite well either.

Before every trip, checking the emergency and safety kit is a worthy practice. The fire extinguishers, first aid box, warning hazard triangles, spare parts, and emergency exit door and other essential safety measures that are acting up irregular and suspicious have to be replaced appropriately.

7. Meters and Gauges

Meters and Gauges are vital counterparts in all vehicles. The fuel levels, temperature, pressure, and speed are measured by the meters and gauges that are fixed on the driver panel. Hence, it is necessary to keep it up for conscious driving.

Any defect on it can cause massive misconceptions and disrupt the safe driving. So, always remember to check the working of meters and gauges accurately. Also, carryout the recommended repair/replacement timely.

8. Wheels

These tubular synthesized rubber rolls have a prominent role in running a vehicle. Wheels are the strong legs that help the vehicles run, walk and stand still.

Hence, a defect on it can bring big troubles on a trip. The air pressure level, thread thickness, disk condition, lug nuts are the factors that has to be looked over every day. Also, wheels and tires need to replace at proper intervals for a seamless drive.

9. Brake System

Inspecting brake involves various steps. For that, we have to take multiple testing rides as well. The oil, brake chamber, pedal, air lines, seals are few of them. The chances of brake system get into defect is more high, since it is the bridle of our gigantic wagon.


Thus, we have to ensure that the brake system is fit enough to control the bus all around. Regardless of the climate, terrain it could control the vehicle all around.

10. Documents and papers

Vehicle documents including insurance policies, registration and permits, test results, driver license,and other eligibility docs are to be updated as it expires. Over every trip, we have to check the documents twice to assure all papers are valid to the data.

Therefore, inevitableis the pre-trip inspection on school buses. To ensure a safe and secure trip for the children we have to pay our diligent attention throughout the school buses. From the number ofplates to the exhaust pipe, all the standards and recommendations have to adhere.

Read Also: School Bus Driver Safety – How Technology Can Play a Role

There are numerous factors still remaining for our attention in school buses.  However, we have covered almost every vital point to look over for a pre-trip inspection. Following these tips can help you keep unnecessary troubles far away from your fleets on the roads.

Wish you a safe trip.

School Bus Technology Trends To Watch For In 2020

Technology in manufacturing school buses keeps improving and advancing each year to accommodate the increasing safety and security concerns of student transportation.

Better safety, lower costs, and simpler operations are the major reasons that drive technology to seek new methods or improvise on the existing.

Better safety, lower costs, and simpler operations are the major reasons that drive technology to seek new methods or improvise on the existing.

Read Also: School Bus Driver Safety – How Technology Can Play a Role

Information and computer technology has had a great influence on School transportation management systems. Innovative products have been developed to make unwieldy operations easier and to solve issues faced in student transportation.

Technology works with humans to create a secure and safer environment for students, enhance the rider and driver experience and increase the overall efficiency of operations.

Technology trends to watch for in 2020

1. Auto Routing

School buses use smart auto-routing algorithms simplifying the task of transport managers. School bus routing is challenging for transport managers as it consumes time and they have to keep an eye on school bus routes, check seat availability, etc. But auto-routing software makes the task easier. It automatically routes the path accurately. 

2. New Methods to stop Illegal Passing

One of the biggest threats facing by school buses safety is rash driving motorists. They often tend to ignore a school bus’s stop arm and speeding by while the children are entering or exiting from the bus. It can sometimes cause serious safety issues. The children are unpredictable, so other vehicles should be responsible for child safety. 

Stop-arm cameras are one option, but it is relatively expensive and cause public relation issues. So alternative method to prevent this is by adding more and bright lights is the most effective and friendly solution. 

3. Cutting-edge sensitivity

In school buses, the level of sensitivity varies as detection technology varies. The new AI-powered technology can detect even the faintest signs of movement, including even the minute signs of heartbeat and breathing. Though it was formally developed for passenger cars, this system partners with school bus telematics. Thus helping school bus drivers or fleet operators to diagnose if a child is left on board.

4. Alternative Fuels

The basic fact that the global petroleum reserves are depleting, forces one to look for alternatives. The environmental pollution and public health hazards caused due to emissions from diesel exhausts are very grave.


Prices of diesel and gasoline are extremely volatile and high. The efficiency level per gallon is low when compared to other fuels.

These factors compel a shift to electricity, CNG, propane, hydrogen, diesel-electric hybrid as fuel is envisaged in the coming years. These fuels offer better mileage. Their on-road operational costs are minimal compared to that of diesel-powered buses.

The initial cost of purchasing a new bus running on alternative fuel or retrofitting the current engine to suit alternate fuel requirements is high compared to that of diesel buses. But in the long run they prove viable with near-zero emissions and lower operational costs.

Electric school buses are considered to be the future of school bus transport. They are eco-friendly with zero emissions. They are quieter while in operation.

5. Timer-based Block Heating Mechanism

In cold countries, heating of the buses in the morning is a major issue. A smart timer attached to the block heater automatically starts the engine.

The timer is pre-programmed for the time at which the engine has to be started. This ensures that it is warm and ready when the driver arrives to start the trip.

The timer is pre-programmed for the time at which the engine has to be started. This ensures that it is warm and ready when the driver arrives to start the trip.

This cuts the cost of constant heating, which is impractical and eliminates the need to pay drivers for the extra warming hour in the morning. These timers help to save up to 80% of the costs depending on the weather conditions.

6. WiFi on buses

Wi-Fi on buses is a key factor enabling routing software and GPS tracking system to operate smoothly and effectively. Internet is a centralized device that ties together all the technological equipments aboard a bus.

Implementing Wi-Fi solutions helps in saving money and expanding the capabilities of the systems installed in the bus.

Students spend considerable time on the bus, travelling to and from school. Wi-Fi en-route will enable them to utilize their time on board productively, either studying or completing homework.

It will be helpful for students who lack proper internet access at their homes. Safe internet access with customized filters and data usage reporting ensure the students do not misuse the Wi-Fi for gaming or entertainment.

7. Student ID Cards

Bus identity cards are embedded with micro-chips. Radio frequency identification device (RFID) is used to record the place and time of entry and exit of students into the bus.

The RFID cards alert the parents informing them when their child has got on or off the bus. It updates school administrators on whether the child is on the right bus and at the right bus-stop.

8. Motion Detectors

The motion sensors detect any movement on a moving and stationary bus. Movements as slight as a child moving under a blanket can be detected. Use of these detectors will eliminate the chances of accidental child abandonment which happens when students sleep off without alighting from the buses.

General purpose Input/output (GP I/O) devices or sensors alert the drivers when the door is left open, when windows or hatches are opened, stop arm notifications work etc.

9. Live camera feed

The live feed cameras are installed inside and outside the buses. The internal cameras enable the drivers to view the students inside the moving school bus.

Read Also: 6 Ways Technology has Changed Student Transportation

Student behavior, seating, safety issues can be monitored and managed conveniently on a console in front of the driver. This aids the driver in regulating student discipline without having to leave his seat.

Live cameras are installed on stop arms which extend out when buses stop. This camera is of help to record errant drivers on the road who do not obey the stop warning.

10. Video Mirrors

Video mirrors are used to overcome the dangers arising from the blind spots that the large school buses have. Four cameras are fixed, in different directions, so as to provide the driver with a 360 degree view.

The view is automatically adjusted at turns and curves and switches to rear-view once the bus goes into reverse mode.

11. In-Wheel Alcohol detection

Habitual drinkers and intoxicated drivers are difficult to determine on sight. The new alcohol detection sensor detectsalcohol based on a driver’s skin oils. As the sensor is integrated into the steering wheel, it locks down the bus before it is on road thus preventing unsafe driving.

12. GPS Bus Routing Software Solutions

Planning and scheduling of school bus routes manually is time consuming, costly and stressful.GPS enabled bus routing software helps in faster implementation and optimization of bus routes which is the key factor in reducing operational expenses and fuel costs.

 The system creates routes based on accurate maps, determines time and distance factors on each route, detects traffic blocks and hazards on routes, monitors the mileage etc.

The individual GPS system of each bus is connected to central routing software enabling the school to keep track of every bus in the fleet, receive real-time updates on student locations and route deviations.

Auto-routing determines the routes based on bus seat capacity, number of bus-stops, students at each bus-stop using algorithms.

13. GPS tracking systems

Tracking software solutions make fleet management easier with more control of safety.

  • Trip and Student tracking systems– which can be integrated into the software will provide exact locations of the bus fleet. The precise and accurate data aids school management in taking well-informed decisions quickly saving time, cost and resources.
  • School bus attendance tracker – provides notifications to parents when their child boards or alight the bus. This tracker is extremely beneficial to the school in knowing the number of students in attendance in school on a particular day.
  • Tracking App for parents– helps them to track the bus and reach the bus stop in time. Parents concern of safety in transportation is addressed to a large extent by using this tracker app.
  • Manifest feature -This feature produces daily student passenger list, pick up details with timing, route diagram showing pick up locations. If a student has applied for leave of absence on a day, his name will not appear on the pick-up list for that particular day. This saves the time of the driver and students.
  • Geo-fencing– This App allows parents and schools to set boundaries. This restricts movement of the bus to specified areas. When a bus enters a restricted area the parents and the school receive alerts. The geo-fencing app can be used by parents to receive alerts when the school bus is nearing their wards bus-stop.

14. Driver Tablet

Drivers traditionally use paper printed instructions and maintain files pertaining to students, vehicle performance and maintenance details. Providing drivers with an in-vehicle tablet will reduce paper work.

All information can be recorded on the spot and can be retrieved by all departments concerned. This reduces the work load of drivers and school administrators.

15. Telematics

Telematics automate many of the manual and disconnected tasks. Telematics connects all the electronic equipment in the bus and transmits the entire data to the fleet manager.

It tracks fuel consumption, preventive maintenance schedules and the engine diagnostics of the bus. Telematics has the capability to make the transportation system more efficient and easier to maintain at lower costs.

Read Also: Impact of Anti-Collision Technology on School Buses

Technology has transformed the classrooms and now this transformation is being extended to school buses. Technology gives us new ways to optimize, maximize and automate the different functionsof school bus operations.  All of these technological applications strive to make school buses the best and the safest mode of transportation for students.

9 Ways To Reduce School Bus Transportation Costs

Schools and school districts are constantly on the look-out to reduce operational costs wherever possible. The reduced budgets given to schools prompt them to cut costs in areas that do not directly affect classroom studies. School Bus transportation costs thus become a target when school administrations seek to curtail their expenses.

Read Also : 7 Tips To Improve Fuel Efficiency In School Buses

Bus transportation costs depend on the age of the fleet, wages, maintenance expenditure,fuel-consumption, insurance charges. This comprises of 80% of the total cost.Capital costs include purchase cost of new vehicles and cost of fleet replacement. Operating a school bus fleet at optimal efficiency has a direct impact on the costs saved.

Methods to reduce school bus transportation costs

1. Reducing the number of buses

Operating a fleet of school buses is expensive. The best method to reduce costs is to reduce the number of buses in operation. Trimming the fleet automatically decreases driver wages, fuel consumption, wear and tear of vehicles etc. These factors contribute enormously in saving costs.


Efficient route management is the most practical way to lower costs without hampering the quality of service provided.The best model in cost-cutting serves to get students to school efficiently while optimizing transport times.

2. Route management

Transporting pupils to schools is a complex matter. Technological advances have helped school administrators tackle the issue with considerable ease. Software systems are used to develop bus routes. Some schools still do the route mapping manually.

Schools have to periodically review their bus routes in terms of the actual number of students using the bus and the total time utilized. Simple adjustments to the previous year’s routes will not help in lowering operational costs.

School administrators cut backs on stops and routes to stay within the budget. Minor changes in operations like minimizing trips and routes, often result in great advantages.

3. Trip planning

The number of students at each bus-stop, stop locations and bus capacities has a direct impact on the charting of bus routes. Minimizing the number of trips minimizes the number of buses required.

Trips can be linked together on a single bus route if school start and finish timings are altered slightly. The elementary, middle and high school start and dismissal times are fixed to fall within a certain time slot.

Then it becomes possible to link more trips together on a single bus. This decreases the number of buses required in total. The optimal combination of alternate bell timings and trips results in saving costs and increasing efficiency.

4. Route planning

A method used to increase operational efficiency is route planning. A single route is designed for children of different schools in a school district. Trips of different schools are combined to form one route.

A single bus is assigned to this specific route. This reduces the time the buses run without students on board as well as the number of buses on each route.  Each route becomes longer but serves more trips on one single route.

Read Also: 10 Important Benefits of Propane Based School Buses

This minimizes the number of routes resulting in lower operational costs. Pollution caused by diesel exhaust fumes is reduced to a large extent. This model is viable where schools fall under the purview of one governing authority and the services of a centralized bus company is utilized. Private schools which own their own buses might not be open to this model.

5. Walking School Bus

‘Walking School Bus’ is a new concept which has been adopted by neighborhoods in the US. When rerouting to optimize costs, some of the routes closer to the schools get eliminated. In such cases, students along those routes group together and walk to school under the supervision of an adult.

The parents and children like the idea of walking as it is healthy. Students feel energetic and fresher. Most often students get to school quicker as school buses normally take more time picking up children on their routes.

These students can either walk or bike to school. This enables students staying further away, disabled or otherwise-able students to avail bus services .Student safe zones have to be ensured.

6. Alternative fuel vehicles

States and cities in the US spend roughly $15 million annually transporting children to school. Diesel, that powers most of the buses, is now very expensive.

Governmental regulations on cutting down the pollution, forces one to adopt alternative fuel sources for running vehicles. Propane, CNG and Electric vehicles are available options. Hybrid diesel-electric vehicles, though expensive, are used by some schools.

Cost of vehicles running on alternative fuel is high as compared to the cost of diesel engine vehicles. There is a significant reduction in fuel costs. Air pollution due to diesel exhaust fumes is drastically reduced leaving lesser carbon footprint.  Better utilization of the buses can make it viable in the long run.

The buses in the existing fleet can be retrofitted with alternative fuel engines. This can help reduce the initial capital expenditure. When deciding to retrofit, the age of the vehicle has to be taken into account,to gain maximum benefit.

7. Maintenance cost

Regular maintenance is needed to keep the buses safe on the road. Less number of school buses on the road means lesser maintenance of vehicles. Savings on parts, supplies and labor is considerable when the number of buses is minimal.

A maintenance program that can extend the life of buses is essential.Periodical regular maintenance and scheduled preventive maintenance will reduce the incidence of unexpected breakdowns and the costs associated.

Schools and transport companies need to have policies on disposal of buses that cannot serve efficiently.

8. Staff expenses

A reduction in the number of buses will require less number of staff to man them. The reduced number of drivers brings about a huge saving in wages. Efficient routing and time management will reduce overtime costs.

Fleet management software provides real-time feedback and comprehensive reporting enabling safe and efficient pupil transportation.

Using digital software systems for routing, GPS systems for locations, RFID readers for bus attendance; CCTV to monitor bus discipline reduces the need for administrators handling these functions manually.

The one-time capital expenditure to install the technology and equipment required will considerably save on otherwise recurring expenses.

9. Down-side of cost reduction

Re-routing and elimination of routes will leave a good number of students without transport. Cutting bus routes without proper plans regarding student safety will cause adverse effects.

When bus stops or routes are eliminated parents react with anger. They are concerned about the dangers involved when their wards walk or cycle to school. Parents then opt to drop them to school in their cars.

Read Also : 15 Splendid Ways to Reduce Fuel Cost [For School Buses]

About36 cars are needed to transport an equivalent bus-load of students. This proportionately increases traffic congestion and corresponding air pollution on the roads.

The incidence of accidents is higher among cars increasing the risk of safety. School buses meet with fewer accidents. Their big sizes allow them to withstand damage better on an impact. School buses are considered to be 13 times safer than cars.

School buses in the US alone transport 25 million students, travelling distances of approximately 4 billion miles each year. Decreasing school budgets and rising fuel prices necessitates minimizing school bus operational costs.

It is worth the effort to stream-line the operations to ensure safer transportation of students at minimal costs to the school.

3 Key Benefits of Video Camera on School Bus

Video cameras are becoming a necessity in society today. Video surveillance can reduce diverse safety risks on as well as off the bus. The American School Bus Council has reported that each year school buses are transporting more than 25 million children from and to school.

Continuous monitoring can improve safety. In most cases, server inside the video records and wirelessly transfers the recordings and the data to the administrative server, which school board members can check.

Read Also: 15 Must-have Safety Features On A School Bus

Govtech.com has recently reported that school districts are adding safety cameras to its new fleets; they are now considering a four-camera system on their buses where now they have a two camera system.


The school board will be placing those two additional cameras, on the front dash that faces forward and another on the stop arm that faces backward. These cameras help to capture stop arm violations, by improving Wi-Fi capability within the district.

Here are three important benefits of video cameras on a school bus

1. Ensures student safety

By monitoring students, drivers and other staff in the bus, school districts can ensure that their students are safe during their bus journey. In school grounds students are under observation.

Video cameras can improve safety of students from the time they leave the parents to the school campus till they reach home back. But when travelling in bus, chances for bullying and other wicked happenings are more, which often go unnoticed.

Awareness of the fact that they are being observed in bus too will discourage any such acts and if it continues they will be punished. Not only school authorities, it also help drivers to watch each kid closely, thus preventing any sort of accidents.

To ensure safe off-loading and on-loading of students, most school boards are now considering stop-arm cameras that can protect students even outside the bus.

Such cameras placed on the stop arm of school buses can automatically capture stop-arm violations along with key details such as date, time and GPS location, which helps in legal enforcement review. These cameras also capture license plate numbers of violators in high-definition and can download stop-arm events automatically via Wi-Fi.

Such measures also prevent on-board deaths. Incidents were reported earlier on such issues, where kids who go asleep are left behind in their school bus, leading to consequences.

UAE school buses have installed “sleeping child check buttons”, which works via a mobile app that parents can access. This app will work even if bus supervisors fail to do their duty perfectly. Video surveillance also helps to make sure that the child still in the bus.

2. Monitors driver behavior

Video footage also helps to monitor driver’s behavior and activities. Often drivers get involved in issues such as rash driving, sudden braking, improper behavior, over speed, getting late than usual pick-ups and drop-offs and more.

Read Also: 5 Common Questions on School Bus Security Cameras

Any such activities inside and outside the bus can be easily captured with videos surveillance and school authorities can take action to prevent them. With video camera surveillance system, drivers will be careful about breaking the school bus safety rules.

3. Prevents other vehicle’s illegal passing

overtaking of vehicles are getting increased day by day, this can endanger the lives of students when they are getting in or out of the bus. Law in most countries recommends motorists to stop their vehicles when school buses are boarding students or getting them down.

Also bus drivers are recommended to stop buses completely at places like railroad crossings to ensure student’s safety. In its 2017 National Stop Arm Violation Count report, the National State Directors of Pupil Transportation Service (NASDPTS) has highlighted that over 104,000 school bus drivers reported that 77,972 vehicles passed their schools buses illegally all on a single day.

Many states and their school districts are now placing cameras outside the bus to record illegal passing and thus punish motorists who pass stopped school buses.

They don’t wait for the red lights to stop flashing which indicates that the motorists can proceed. Often drivers illegally passing stopped school buses will be issued tickets for which they have to pay heavy penalties.

Stop arm cameras can identify such motorists who are not obeying the law. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) recommends most U.S. states including Georgia to post a warning sign on all school buses which has a monitoring system installed and this indicates the use of such a system.

In case of any accidents, video footage can provide evidence on who is responsible and statements from eyewitness can provide details on what actually happened. Stop-arm cameras can also provide high definition photos of any vehicles passing through and its license plate.

However, in each country usage of video cameras for school purposes or even individual needs should be adhered to certain standard rules and policies.

Read Also: 15 School Bus Safety Ideas You Can Share With Everyone

For instance, in Canada, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Newfoundland and Labrador – Donovan Molloy has recommended that installing and using cameras in schools and on school buses needs to be identified under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015 (ATIPPA, 2015).

If not it will be considered as a law violation, leading to punishments and penalties. School districts considering outsourcing their transportation tasks should also mention their video surveillance policies in the contract they sign with the partner company.

6 Leading School Bus Rental Companies in Philadelphia

Established in 1818, the Philadelphia school district is the eighth largest in terms of enrolment in the U.S. The school district operates 214 out of the 300 public schools and they include 149 elementary schools, 16 middle schools, and 49 high schools. The remaining public schools are operated by independent charter schools which are authorized by the school district.

Read Also: School Bus Rental Companies in Chicago

A number of school bus rental companies operating in Philadelphia cater to the transportation needs of these children. Some of the top rental service providers are:

1: YellowBird Bus Company

Since 1981 YellowBird has been providing school bus services for the children of the greater Philadelphia area. Known for providing services on time and quoting competitive rates, it is considered to be one of the most reliable school bus service providers in the area.

Over the years, the company’s fleet has grown from about a dozen vehicles to more than 100 buses and carries hundreds of students on a daily basis to and from schools.


YellowBird Bus Company is a family-owned business that provides safe rides to school children all over Philadelphia as well as the Bucks and Montgomery counties.

In addition to providing daily transportation services to school children, the company caters to bus needs for special events such as class field trips and wide array of private events. They include sports events, bachelor parties, wedding parties, and senior events, among many others.

2: David Thomas Transportation

The school bus rental company David Thomas Transportation operates the latest model school buses that can carry 16, 20, 48, and 50 students. The company also offers 14 passengers shuttle buses.

Their entire fleet has AM/FM Stereo Radio, Public Address System, CD player, and a cell phone for emergency calls. David Thomas also makes available air-conditioned school buses. They come with more headroom as they are designed for adults.

The company is well known in Philadelphia for operating school buses at affordable rates and providing safe transportation to school children. For chartered trips, the company offers services on all the 7 days of the week.

David Thomas Transportation, established in 2001, caters to the transportation needs of school children in and around the Philadelphia area.

The company also arranges buses for school field trips, after-school sporting events, and many other school activities. The air-conditioned school buses operated by David Thomas are licensed to travel even to destinations outside Pennsylvania.

Finally, the company ensures the buses are clean and well maintained and are driven safely by knowledgeable, friendly, and professional drivers, who always present themselves in uniform.

3: Maytav Bus Company

Maytav Bus operating in Philadelphia specializes in providing low-cost bus services for the metropolitan area. Maytav operates on rental basis on school bus routes for transporting students, taking them to and from school.

In addition, the company rents out buses for other school trips, day camps, senior groups, daycares, and private requirements.

Read Also: Top 10 School Bus Companies

Maytav has a professional set of staffs on their rolls. Further, Maytav’s busses are all equipped with a GPS device. This is to make sure that the passengers reach their destination on time without fail.

In addition to offering quality service all the time, Maytav ensures safe travel at very competitive rates.

4: Total Transportation Corp

The school bus and charter company Total Transportation serves NYC, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. With a professed mission to provide dependable and safe transportation services to its clients, TTc has been operating school bus and charter bus services for more than 40 years now.

Furthermore, the company is committed to offering distinctive and tailored services so as to address the needs of each client.

Furthermore, the company is committed to offering distinctive and tailored services so as to address the needs of each client.

Total Transportation owns and operates several transportation companies. Mat Bus Corp is the company that operates transportation services for school students in the Philadelphia school district.

5: Durham School Services

Durham is a provider of safe and reliable school student transportation services across the United States of America, including Philadelphia.

The company transports over 1,000,000 students on a daily basis. Schools and school districts making use of their services don’t have to worry about capital for new buses, routing issues, driver recruitment and training, and bus breakdowns.

This is because the company has the expertise and experience in providing transportation services and nation-wide resources.

Durham School Services is a division of National Express LLC which is the subsidiary of the U.K. based National Express Group in North America.

At Durham, the safety of the children is the #1 priority. That’s why the company follows a nationally recognized fleet preventive maintenance program.

The history of Durham School Services can be traced to 1917 when it started its services with just three buses in San Gabriel Valley, California.

Back then, Durham was specialized in providing special education transportation. Today, the company owns over 16,300 school buses. They serve over 400 school districts across 31 states in the US.

6: First Student

This school bus rental service provider is more than one hundred years old. The company serves nearly 1,100 school districts for ferrying children from and to the schools all over North America.

First Student works very closely with all the school districts as they appreciate the fact that the requirements differ from one district to another. In fact, this company ferries a larger number of students on a daily basis than the people transported by airlines in the country.

Read Also: Buying a School Bus – 10 Important Points You Should Know

Further, First Student is the only school bus transportation services company to be given the coveted Green Cross Safety Award by the National Safety Council.  This is because the company focuses a lot on the safety of the students they transport from and to school.

That is why First Student has equipped its fleet with real-time tracking devices, efficient communication tools, digital cameras and Wi-Fi routers.

School Bus Rental Companies in Chicago

Student transportation is wrought with complexities, though it is a fundamental issue to the school’s operation.

However, bus rental companies that are run by private transport contractors make the job easy by providing safe and reliable everyday transportation for the students to and from the schools.

Read Also: Top 10 School Bus Companies

This gives the chance for the school authorities to focus on the core assignment of education.

This gives the chance for the school authorities to focus on the core assignment of education.

1. Alltown Bus Service, Inc.

For more than 27 years now the “Alltown Bus Service, Inc” has been providing safe, timely and reasonable bus service for school going children in Chicago.

They offer buses for field trips (in and out of the state) from the school, sports trips, and grad-nite celebrations. The drivers representing the organization are professionally trained and reliable.

The company operates over 600 buses over six different locations: with three locations spread over the suburbs of Skokie, Harvey and Decatur, the other three are scattered in the north, south and west sides of Chicago.


The fleet owned by the Alltown Bus Service Company consists of both modern and conventional style buses. They are also suited for transporting special needs students (lifts for physically challenged children, wheelchair accessible ramps, and air conditioning as a medical requirement for some students).

2. First Student

First Student is a 100+-year-old bus rental company that ferries children to and from their schools in North America. This company transports more students in total per day than all Airlines combined in the country.

They are connected to 1100 school districts for providing daily student transportation. In Chicago, they have offices in Skokie, Hodgkins and Elk Grove.

The company offers turnkey contracts as well as specific arrangements as required by specific schools. They are specific in appointing local people for operations and management.

For the parents and authorities, access to the local operations team is complete. The fleets are well maintained by trained and certified technicians.

The First Student buses are equipped with real-time tracking technology as well as relevant engagement and communications tools.  The buses are also equipped with onboard Wi-Fi and digital cameras thus controlling student behaviour while on the bus.

3. AM Bus Company

The AM bus company is a family-owned business which has been operational since the year 1993. The mission of the company has been to provide safe, timely and reliable transportation for students to and from school daily. Their services are sought by numerous public schools in Chicago and they have over 2500 clients in the city and Chicago Park District.

4. Sunrise School Bus and Charter Services

Sunrise has been partnering with school districts for over 30 years now. The company offers regular bus transport for ferrying children to and from school daily, charter services for special school trips (field trips, sports trips, etc.) and transport services for students with special needs.

Read Also: Buying a School Bus – 10 Important Points You Should Know

Sunrise buses are implemented with GPS systems so that the location of the buses can be tracked at all times. Their buses are well-maintained and they have a long track record of safety.

5. United Quick Transportation

This company has been working since the year 1990 with school districts, private and charter schools in providing daily transportation for students back and forth schools.

Their services are reliable, economical, environmentally friendly and safe. They also cater to school students’ field trips and sports groups that have to be taken to different places.

The driver acquiring procedure in United is done with great care. The drivers should be above 23 years of age and must have clean records with minimum three years’ driving experience.

The drivers should be adequately-trained by a certified team of mechanics and must be aware of the aides that are responsible to keep the buses well maintained.

6. Latino Express

Founded in 1988 Latino Express is one of the leading companies that provide daily student transportation for school districts, charter schools, day-cares, etc. The company runs over 36000 student rides in a year.

The company claims that its success is mainly due to its staff and drivers that help to transport the students safely every day. The company also specializes in transporting students with special needs.

By implementing GPS systems and digital cameras their entire fleet is modern and well equipped. Their bus fleet holds a Gold Level Green Fleet certificate which recognizes the company’s environmentally responsible practices.

7. Children’s Caravan Transportation, LLC

The service provided by Caravan Transportation is perfectly suited to transport the children of working parents to and from day-cares, private, public, and charter schools, and appointments that they have to keep up, etc. 

The bus drivers have years of driving experience and are well trained in CPR and first-aid treatment. They are trustworthy and have the safety of the children as their utmost priority.

The pick-ups and drop-offs are timely and the parents are duly kept informed of route changes and any delays in pick-up or drop-offs.

The buses have entertainment options and maintained by qualified technicians. The children are picked up from and dropped off from their doorsteps or any specified designated location.

8. Walls Transportation, Inc.

Walls Transportation was established in 1977 as a family owned Transportation Company. Started with one school bus they grew large over the years, now having a fleet that has over 30 buses and other motor coaches. The school buses can carry from 16 to 71 passengers.

Read Also: 8 Types of School Buses – Understanding the Classification

Contracted with the Public School System in Chicago, the buses run in several routes. The buses also transport homeless children and special education children.

Walls Transportation provides charter services to schools outside of Chicago as well. The company staffs are courteous, well-groomed and professionals.

School Students Using Public Transportation – Pros and Cons

The decision to send our kids through public transportation (buses/trains) is, at the outset, a simple one. Most parents would, if they had infinite time and money, choose to drop them off themselves.

Sadly though, this is not the case for a large majority. With limited time and money, juggling responsibilities, they do a cost-benefit analysis. Interestingly enough, these are not the only reasons why the decision is taken.

While the alternatives to public transportation include the children cycling or walking to schools themselves, we will be primarily concerned with private cars (including carpooling) as the choice of public transportation, by default, assuming that there is some distance to be covered to reach the school.


Pros of Using Public Transportation

  • Minimum ambiguity, Maximum discipline

There won’t be any last minute dashes due to a parent’s hectic schedule. There is a scheduled stop at a scheduled time and the child needs to be there.

If the child doesn’t reach the stop on time, he/she will have to wait for the next bus. Through trial and error, the child knows for certain which bus she needs to catch.

  • A Multitude of Choices

The child has several choices for spending his/her time. From enjoying the solitude to making friends and spending time with them, to spending time reading or studying, the child makes the time of his/her own.

  • A Question of Friendship

Studies have shown that the adults who have close long-term friendships do better than their less social counterparts. This is especially important as the age when the child is attending middle school and/or high school is when intimate friendships are most often born.

Public transportation provides space for socialization and making friends with other children through frequent and regular interactions.

  • A Dollar Saved is a Dollar Earned

Several families have significant financial constraints. Public transportation is a (relatively) safe option for them to send their kids to school. This becomes even more important if their neighbours are sending their kids to the same school through the same means.

  • Stronger, Faster, Fitter

While this can’t be compared to children walking or cycling to school, children who travel to school via some mode of public transportation are fitter. This is shown through studies which reveal that public transit users, on average, take 30% more steps per day.

  • A Question of Responsibility

Children who use public transport to go to school tend to become more independent and responsible at an earlier age than their peers. While public transportation may lead to nervousness among the parents, this quickly disappears as the child learns and demonstrates responsibility.

  • A Benefit to Society

Apart from the increased car traffic and pollution and all the negatives that go with it, it has been seen that children who use public transit systems to get to school develop a healthy appreciation for public transport facilities.

And they have a greater tendency to use as well as support its use through adulthood. This is especially important to those areas where the public transport system is weak and needs to be strengthened.                                                  

Cons of Using Public Transportation

  • Safety – The Primary Concern

While there are several benefits to public transportation, it cannot be denied that there is one area where private transport trumps it; by a fair way.

And this, in the opinion of many parents, is their single most important concern. This is especially true in difficult neighbourhoods. And while using public transit is certainly safer than walking to school, it doesn’t beat the family car in this respect.

  • Harassment and Negative Experiences

Closely related to the above mentioned one, avoiding being bullied or harassed – and not having a proper channel to address it is an important factor for parents in choosing not to send their child through public transportation.

Children may also get traumatised by events they are not part of, but simply witness. Given these circumstances, in areas where public transportation is the only option, parents may choose to send their children to a suboptimal school as a result.

  • Sharing is Caring

The primary reason for preferring private transportation to public transportation is that of safety. Parents often compromise due to the difficulty in taking children to their school amidst their own hectic schedules.

This is true especially when both parents are working. This can be mitigated by carpools, where parents of different children alternate the responsibility of taking them to school.

  • The Hour Expands

Taking public transportation inevitably means that the child needs to spend more time in transit. From walking to their stop to wait for the bus to the longer routes (that have to be) taken by the bus; and back again while returning home.

This is more prominently seen for high schools, which are generally further away. This is a concern both with respect to time as well as safety.

  • Discomfort and Overcrowding

Most schools start and end around the same time. So, when a bus comes along, it is possible that it may be overcrowded. And this makes for a negative experience for the child, which they may not be able to handle. This effect is even more prominent while returning home.

  • Differing Standards

A study indicated that among children between the ages of 9 and 13, only 6% play outside a given week. At a time when parents are overprotective about their children, can we reasonably expect the children to be able to handle themselves in public settings?

With unfamiliar people? In a crowd? And then there’s the question of personality. Do they get anxious? Under difficult circumstances, will they be able to call the parent and communicate with them?

So there you have it. Why you should rely on public transportation for your children’s school travel. And why you shouldn’t. Priorities and personal preferences play a big role. But we hope this will help you make a more considered decision.

Futuristic School Bus Transportation

Future school buses are the one that combines technological features such as onboard Wi-Fi, telematics, camera, Global Positioning System, driver support tools, etc.

This is a versatile transport solution, which is a typical example of the Internet of Things (IoT) of today, combines security, safety, and network access while on the road.

These facilities accrue as benefits to students, fleet staff, school staff and the parents. Let us see what the benefits of future school bus are and how they are different from normal buses.


1. Bridge the digital gap of the underprivileged

Many American homes which have low income still do not the means to access a hi-speed broadband Internet connection. Many children from low-income households are thus unable to complete their daily homework assignments.

When school buses are equipped with Wi-Fi, it helps these and other students complete their homework while on a long ride back home.

In addition to helping students, parked connected school buses can double up as Wi-Fi hotspots offers internet access to the underprivileged when they are not carrying students. These buses can also find places in the case when schools sponsor programs or organize fundraisers. 

The same wireless access as is on the campus is made available in the bus. Therefore the same web filtering rules are on and no dangerous content can be streamed.

A normal bus, on the other hand, does not offer this advantage. Though the fare may be less, other expenses such as Internet access costs through other means and associated costs may compensate for the savings made.

Moreover, the student travelling by a normal bus is denied access to information as compared to other students that travel in next generation school buses and therefore loses out on many related counts.

2. Anywhere learning is possible

A student travelling in the next generation bus is able to access learning management systems while on the road. They are able to chat with their teachers and mentors, check their grades, view their assignments, Moreover, the student can reach out and access Google Classroom to view and download or upload their homework.

This learning for students is not limited to those who attend classes and do the homework. Connected school buses help sports students to catch up with their missed lessons.

The greatest advantage here is that when such students travel on the normal bus they stand a great chance of losing their sleep hours.

A connected bus helps the students to get home and catch up with their sleep or attend to their part-time jobs or pursue other extracurricular activities with ease.

Another interesting example is the instance of Lockheed Martin creating the first ever immersive virtual reality vehicle, meaning it provides the students with a virtual reality experience on the way back home. The Mars Experience Bus was their one such creation.

For bus commutes that last for more than 45 minutes, instructors can present class lessons to the students in a remote fashion instead of extending the school timings. Travel in normal buses would deprive children and the tutors of this facility.

3. Smart video surveillance enhances safety

Untoward incidents that threaten the safety of children travelling to school in normal buses many a time go unnoticed.  However, connected buses with smart video surveillance can be used to improve passenger safety and also aids in monitoring the student and driver behavior in real time.

Authorities can watch a live and real-time video that is being recorded in the bus. The surveillance system would monitor both the exterior and interior of the bus. Two-way audio facilities allow the authorities to act fast in case of unexpected emergencies.

A reckless driver can be tamed, both the bus driver and other civilian drivers that drive past the flashing lights of the school bus.

Normal buses’ drivers can travel at the speed they want and there can be no control whatsoever on the unruly behavior of the drivers. The passengers usually bear the brunt of such behavior.

4. Provide timely information to parents

The parents are allowed to have more visibility when their children travel on these school buses. They get information in real time telling them if the bus will be on time or delayed to reach a specified bus stop.

This is a big plus during winter days when the driver has to deal with ice and snow on the roads and suffers freezing temperatures.

GPS helps the system track the buses in real time and alerts authorities if the bus strays from the normally prescribed route or if the bus faces a breakdown.

The exact spot is notified via alerts through integration to social media. The authorities can enable geo-fencing, and even proactively monitor the maintenance of the school bus.

When children travel in normal buses, parents sometimes wait for hours on end at the bus stop and what it means is a colossal waste of resources. Sometimes children wait outside in the cold for hours if the bus is delayed.

5. Relay back maintenance issues in a timely manner

Futuristic school buses have the technology to relay back relevant information about the bus status to the concerned authorities.

Examples of variables that can be conveyed back are fuel economy, tire pressure, and engine fault codes. The authorities can then decide if the engine of the bus is running at its peak performance values.

Preventive maintenance action is made possible with these actions.  The ultimate results are that costs are lowered and expulsions of gases that affect the environment negatively are reduced.

A normal bus would just end up breaking down suddenly in a majority of cases. This would mean upset of normal routines and eventually end up in unplanned extra costs.

6. Help to make up the academic shortfall of the country

According to statistics, students in the United States are academically behind students of many other nations. Therefore, it is a good idea to increase students’ access to resources via these buses. This would only serve to increase their intellectual awareness.

7. Improve the behavior of the students

Some students with behavioral issues many a time require a distraction that would keep them calm.

Wi-Fi in a connected bus is an educational distraction that would hold their attention. They would keep away from distraction the other children or even the bus driver.

Those children travelling on a normal bus can give vent to their feelings in any manner that they want to and there is no tether for this.


The true value of this kind of transport solution is the integration of the wireless, telematics, security, camera and other components which turn this into one single powerful platform. The uses are nearly unlimited.