School buses are the safest mode of travel for students. Studies suggest that school buses are 70% safer and economical than traveling to school by personal vehicle. However, sending children to school under the administration’s responsibility can be a source of anxiety for parents. Road accidents and ditching the bus are common issues both parents and administration need to account for. The best way to tackle several school bus-related issues is by adopting a fleet management system. With technological aid, school bus channels can be made much quicker, efficient, and safer for everyone’s peace of mind.
In this article, let’s have a detailed look at what a good school bus management system can look like. By identifying problems and devising their solutions, the software can prioritize student safety and allow everyone else to breathe easily.
Why Avoid Personal Vehicles for Student Commute
Several parents, especially ones from affluent neighborhoods, prefer sending their children to school by personal vehicles. While that might work for some, it is not an ideal way to commute to school for the following reasons:
Personal Commute is Expensive
This should not be too difficult a reason to understand. The fuel consumption by a personal vehicle and school bus will be similar. However, the cost of that fuel will be divided among a larger number of people in a school bus. Therefore, the overall cost of dropping one child to school through personal conveyance will be much higher than that of a school bus.
Unnecessarily High Traffic
The logic is simple: one bus is smaller than twenty separate cars. Therefore, if you only need to drop one child to school, taking out your car for their commute will only increase traffic. This traffic will lead to greater risks of accidents as well as delays.
The more vehicles on the road, the more fuel they will consume. This excessive fuel consumption has a significant negative impact on nature that we can easily avoid by commuting via school buses.
Sure, if you are personally dropping off your children at school, you will be as safe as possible. While school buses generally do not provide that kind of individual care, they are nevertheless safer. Why? Because of the following two reasons:
- School buses are designed to be more sturdy and visible on the road
- They are protected by law and the drivers are verified to ensure that children are in the right hands.
Things School Bus Management Includes
The school administration could either create an internal bus management system or outsource bus services. Whatever option they choose, there are some common problems they are bound to face.
Route management can be a huge issue when a school bus has to pick and drop children from multiple points. Drivers need to follow specific routes that consume the least time and fuel. The route followed should also be low-risk and consume the least amount of fuel possible.
Each school bus should have a driver and a teacher from the school. Each bus can work with a designated driver. However, the teachers should always be rotated. Why? To avoid biases and overburdening any particular staff.
Playing truant from a school bus, even in the presence of staff is not uncommon. Likewise, if buses do not pick students from home but from designated stops, their chances of skipping are high. Resultantly, on and off student attendance is important.
The biggest satisfaction that managers and parents will get from tracking school bus movement in real-time. The movement updates should be as accurate as possible and should be visible on a comprehensive map with maximum geospatial data and markers.
Emergency situations such as vehicle breakdown, accidents, or student health issues can arise any time. The school bus should be equipped with emergency situation management tools that can keep the commute to school completely safe.
Student record Management
Each school needs to maintain a record of the whereabouts of students while they are the school’s responsibility. The data storage should be long and the collection fields should be comprehensive.
Why Use Fleet Management Software For School Bus Management?
By now, we have a clear idea of what school bus management entails and what challenges the process has to overcome.
Things such as attendance management and record management can be easily taken care of manually, even though that would be time and paper-consuming. However, other issues such as route management are not easy to do manually. This is where a software-based fleet management system steps in.
Here are a few things a digital school bus management system can offer.
The primary purpose of any fleet management software is to conduct real-time tracking. Through this system, both school administration and parents can keep tabs on the school bus movement at any time.
AI-integrated software allows managers to optimize routes in the most effective way possible. The manager can mark different pickup points and create a digital map of the shortest and quickest route the bus has to follow. Moreover, through features such as geofences, managers can mark out-of-limits areas and will get notified if the drivers enter those regions.
Route optimization is a cost-saving and safety-inducing feature since it not only avoids unwanted areas but also plans routes in a way that the bus has to travel the least distance possible.
Attendance marking is more accurate and difficult to fool digitally. Students should be required to mark biometric attendance while boarding and leaving the bus for verified presence. Moreover, this does away with concussions and paperwork.
Arrival or ETA Updates
Through an amalgamation of GPS tracking and geofences, parents and administration can be notified when the school bus has arrived at the pickup points and the school. Moreover, geofences can also be generated in a manner that parents get a notification whenever the bus is about to arrive at their child’s pickup point to reduce wait time.
SOS SMS or Email Alerts
By integrating SOS buttons into the bus and software, whenever the bus or a student needs help, their parents and the school administration can be notified through SOS SMSs and emails.
Driver Behavior Analysis
Parents put faith in the driver to drive their children safely to school. Therefore, school administration can keep tabs on issues such as risky driving, delays, or route deviation to ensure the kids are in the right hands from their end.
Accurate Record Keeping
Most good software comes with at least 6-month data history storage. Some can offer even more. This is ideal to avoid losing records or maintaining piles of paperwork that are difficult to navigate. This data can also be used to create student attendance and drive behavior reports.
Parental Access to School Bus Management
School bus management cannot be complete without constant safety reassurance to the parents. The best way to do it is by creating a separate app with specified access required by parents. By getting access to the following features, parents can always be comfortable about their kids commuting to school on a bus.
Vehicle Movement Visibility
Vehicle visibility is a sure-shot way to relieve parental anxiety about their children’s whereabouts. In case a parent needs updates on where the bus is, they do not have to make calls to their children or the teacher-in-charge. Instead, they can simply check the app and find the information they are looking for.
Moreover, knowing that their moment is being tracked in real-time also holds drivers accountable to behave and drive responsibly.
Parents might want to know the route the school bus takes regularly for several reasons. Instead of them having to enquire from their children or the school administration, parents can simply access trip history and see why the bus takes the time it takes to reach from their pickup point to the school.
Attendance alerts can hit two birds with one stone. Not only do parents get notified about when the bus arrives at the pickup point and the school, but also help them supervise their child’s attendance.
Some schools with internal school bus systems resort to pay-per-use payment systems. For such models, parents can manage the expenses they have to incur on the school bus as they have a detailed account of their children’s attendance.
Queries and Suggestions
When parents are in the know of the route and trips, they might have some suggestions. The parent app can give them a space to voice their worries, ask queries, or drop suggestions regarding the whole school bus management system.
Making Student Commutes Easier and Safer Today
Are you responsible for managing a fleet of school buses? Or are you a concerned parent who wishes the school bus channel was stronger? You should consider TrackoBit as your trusted software partner. Through features such as SOS alerts, geofences, and route optimization, TrackoBit will make data transparency easy and school commutes safer.
Find your school bus management channel more efficient with software-aided tools and automated operations.
So, what are you waiting for? Contact TrackoBit now to know more about our school bus management systems.