SafeStop Highlights Four Interesting Observations from the 2017-2018 School Year
Leading School Bus Tracking App Leads Embrace of Technology in School Transportation, Highlights Inefficiencies That Still Exist and Need Attention
CHARLESTON, S.C., Aug. 16, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — With the new school year upon us, it’s not only a great time for students, parents, and school districts to keep up their back-to-school preparation, but also to reflect on the technology and educational trends and learnings of this past 2017-2018 school year.
As the industry’s leading school bus tracking app, this past year SafeStop™ enjoyed successes including over doubling in size for the fourth straight year. SafeStop has become the go-to school bus tracking app for nearly 200 school districts across the U.S. and Canada, 75 of which have been added in since January.
“SafeStop continued to push for rigorous and responsible growth in the 2017-2018 school year,” stated Patrick Gallagher, SafeStop’s Division Director. “We will continue to create a product that is scalable, provides reliable information, and suits the needs of school districts, contractors, and parents. The goal from the start has been to be the most complete and universal school bus tracking app on the market with parents and school officials across North America.”
Looking back on the past year, here are some observations from the SafeStop Team.
The implementation of GPS technology into school buses has endless benefits, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.
Across the country, it seems as though Transportation Directors and School Administrators are scratching the surface in terms of the full benefit of the purchases they’re making, specifically their GPS purchases. GPS systems are extremely versatile and can be found in almost any industry sector, and are as important as ever for commercial school bus fleets. GPS systems in the school transportation industry are most often used to track buses, map out the most efficient routes, and track specific incidents such as bus arrival times and delays.
As beneficial as these actions are, many school districts are failing to utilize their GPS systems to the fullest with even greater cost-saving operations, such as excessive engine idling, preventative maintenance, driver attendance, and more. This means that important funds are potentially being lost in excess fuel purchasing and poor fleet planning.
Across the country, many school bus routes are still not being optimized in the most efficient way possible – and this is a problem.
In many operations across the country, school bus routes are built at the beginning of the year and slightly modified should the student population change mid-year or driver count fluctuate. Throughout the year, SafeStop believes there are opportunities to make more sizeable updates to bus routes during the school year so they can be analyzed and optimized on a quarterly or bi-annual basis, so school districts can get the most out of what they’re spending. SafeStop has partnered with a variety of GPS vendors, routing system vendors, and industry consultants to see the value in route optimization for its clients. The impacts of school bus route optimization are far reaching, from protecting the safety of passengers and monitoring ridership time, to eliminating dangerous greenhouse gasses, controlling driver shortages, and ultimately saving money.
We love that parents, students, and school districts alike are embracing and understanding the amount of work that needs to go into being prepared for a new school year in terms of transportation.
Being prepared when it comes to transportation means taking into account things like routes, data and information, technology, driver performance, driver training, and a host of other details. This past year, as more and more school districts have begun utilizing SafeStop, they’re beginning to reap the benefits and physically see the fruits of their labor, meaning a more consistent dedication to making student transportation as safe and as efficient as possible. Setting expectations with parents and riders, as well as building effective communication channels that significantly reduce phone calls to the transportation office allows the transportation staff to respond quicker to issues and focus on the core fundamentals of providing quality service. Information is now easily accessible and communication is clear. It’s a win for everyone.
A culture-shift is occurring to embrace technology to the fullest in school transportation.
The relationship between technology and safety has not always been clear in the school transportation industry. Much of the conversation surrounding technology focuses on cost savings or eliminating inefficiencies, while the priority in school transportation has always been (and should always be) safety. SafeStop and other telematics, cameras, and child check systems have helped bridge the gap in showing that properly-implemented technology provides knowledge, accountability, and in turn, safety. When distractions are eliminated and the data helps paint a complete picture, the focus can remain on the most critical tasks that make a transportation operation safe.
SafeStop is available throughout the U.S. and Canada and is compatible with any transportation provider, any GPS hardware, and any routing software. To learn more about the SafeStop app, receive pricing, or schedule a brief online demo, please visit www.SafeStopApp.com.
SafeStop, a product offered by SafeStop, Inc., is a powerful and secure application that connects parents and school administrators with the vehicles transporting their students. Created in 2013 by a transportation solutions provider with vast experience in the industry, SafeStop app provides a secure registration process, real-time map feature, estimated times of arrival, student scanning, SafeStop Analytics and an alerts and messaging center for its users. The app brings timely, accurate and valuable information to parents and school officials across North America. For more information, visit www.SafeStopApp.com.
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