How much visibility do you have over your school bus fleet?
Safety is always a concern when discussing student transportation. The first school buses, produced by Wayne Works, were horse-drawn carriages in 1886. Later, in 1930, the company introduced the first steel school buses with safety windows. Aside from upgrades to accommodate safety laws and standards, school bus safety features are comparatively out of date. Passenger cars, on the other hand, have been upgraded to include features such as backup cameras, lane change alerts, and more.
School bus safety remains a number one concern for parents across the United States. As such, there have been laws put into place regarding school bus passing, crosswalks, and more. Still, there is a constant need to improve the structure and technology in buses to ensure that children stay safe.
Safety expands beyond seat belts and stopping at a stop sign, it encompasses routing, vehicle maintenance, and GPS tracking, and more. It’s easy to forget that school buses also need to see a profit for the transportation companies that own the vehicles. On top of that, saving on transportation costs for the school districts and taxpayers is always top of mind. Of course, maintaining efficiency and ensuring that routes are as quick, but safe as possible, is important.
Insights Beyond the School Bus
The simplest way to account for all of these factors and keep the school bus fleet running efficiently and safely is to incorporate telematics. The software allows for better decision-making for school transportation using intuitive fleet management and telematics software. With comprehensive reporting, real-time alerts, and increased visibility, you can cultivate a smarter, safer school transportation fleet.
Use the insights provided by the dashboards to gain control of transport operations. Data-driven decisions can help to increase efficiency and lower student transportation costs, ultimately saving money and driving productivity across the school bus fleet.
The telematics market is expected to grow from $7.3 billion to $18.4 billion by 2020. Part of that growth is school bus fleet tracking and monitoring. This means that telematics and fleet management software features will expand to encompass specific school bus tracking and management technology.
Connected Fleet Technology
“Transmission of vehicle data back to the fleet manager in the form of KPI’s and intelligent dashboards makes pupil transportation safer and more efficient. Schools districts are focused on improving safety, reducing downtime, and total cost of ownership of their bus fleets,” according to Scott Eden, General Manager, Public Sector at Vehicle Tracking Solutions®.
- Do you know where your buses are?
- Are you able to get real-time alerts for maintenance issues, speeding, and other safety issues?
- How are you communicating with drivers?
- Is there any easier way for you to update routes in real-time to avoid traffic, account for weather hazards, and other unforeseen issues?
Managing a fleet of school buses comes with a lot of responsibility. You are responsible for the lives of tens or even hundreds of students each day. It is essential that you keep your vehicles well-maintained, ensure that operators are driving safely and that students get from one place to the next efficiently.
Rather than coaching your drivers on safety, recording maintenance manually, and relying on radios to communicate, implement a telematics software solution that will automate and streamline these processes. With an in-vehicle device and an application, you can improve your visibility of activity across your fleet.
Fleet Management and Telematics Software can help:
Benefits of Using Telematics
- Dashboards with reporting on all aspects of school bus company fleet management and operations
- Make better data-driven decisions with key insights and fleet intelligence
- Control your fleet to manage your bus, student, and driver safety
- Streamline communication and routing with simple 2-way messaging and GPS software
It’s important to choose the right fleet management software, because not all telematics solutions are one-size-fits-all. After making the decision to invest in telematics for your student transportation company you should research companies in the industry. Look for a fleet management company who you can partner with to help you make the most of your software.
When used properly, fleet management software will provide a return on investment in less than a year for many companies.
“VTS’ Silent Passenger® fleet management and telematics technology improve decision making by enhancing visibility and control of bus fleets. Access to data points such as hard breaking, harsh cornering, and acceleration allows school districts to effectively train drivers, improving the overall performance of bus fleets”, according to Scott Eden.