GPS technology has been popular for quite some time with wayward travelers who didn’t want to get lost on vacation. Over the years it has evolved to fill other niches, industries, and organizations. This includes the transportation industry as well as schools and other educational institutions.
When it comes to school districts who operate their own school bus transportation or contract with a bussing company real-time GPS tracking is increasingly attractive. At the same time, it is typically easy to use while also costing very little against the school districts budget.
What Are The Benefits Of GPS Tracking For School Buses?
An increasing number of school districts and bus companies are investing in GPS tracking technology for many of the following reasons.
Improved Safety For Staff And Students
Safety is always the top priority when it comes to transporting students between home and school, as well as special occasions like field trips. Integrating school buses with real-time GPS tracking makes it possible to maintain constant awareness of the exact location of every school bus in the fleet.
GPS tracking can also be set up to send automated alerts to fleet managers should a bus veers off its intended route or engages in unsafe driving behavior. It gives parents, and school staff added peace of mind, while also helping to bolster the school district’s reputation.
Monitoring Bus Driver Habits And Improved Accountability
GPS tracking can also help bus drivers to improve their own performance and be more accountable for their driving habits. Integrated software can precisely calculate the amount of time it takes for a school bus to travel to and from locations. There are also software programs that can be customized to include time tracking, employee timesheet verification and improved accountable. It can also incorporate other factors like tracking engine idle time. When analyzed properly driver routes can be optimized to decrease drive time and improve overall efficiency.
Efficient Scheduling For Bus Maintenance And Servicing
Another important aspect of school bus safety is making sure that all vehicles are properly maintained and serviced on time. A bus that isn’t maintained regularly is at increasing risk of experiencing a breakdown while children are on board.
Being able to accurately track things like mileage, idle time, and other factors help fleet managers to more accurately schedule basic maintenance. It can also keep track of engine hours as well as store historical data on each vehicle.
Providing Parents With Added Peace Of Mind
Parents these days are exceedingly concerned about the safety of their children. Especially when they are on the bus as well as when they are in school. In places where winter weather can be an additional safety issue, it can be comforting for a parent to know where a bus is, how long their child has to wait, and possibly just how long their child spends each day riding on the bus.
There are customizable forms of software that can be integrated with real-time GPS tracking. This can allow school districts to send alerts to parents on a wide range of topics, including if a bus is running late, if a bus has broken down, or if it is running ahead of schedule.
These features can be especially helpful for school districts with a high percentage of students coming from rural homes. It allows parents to make sure their child is in the pickup or drop off location at the right times. In cold areas, this information could also reduce the amount of time a child needs to spend in a warming house.
Depending on the disclosure practices of your school district it is also possible to offer parents access to software where they can follow their child’s bus in real time or set up to be alerted if there is an unforeseen emergency. There are several school districts around the country who will post this information to an alert system or software that will send messages to parent’s social media accounts.
A school bus fleet with GPS tracking can also provide added peace of mind and bolster the reputation of your school district. This is especially beneficial for families who are moving to the area and factoring in school districts into where they want to move. Knowing that there is a GPS tracking system in place for improved safety and bus driver accountability can be a selling point, that further demonstrates your school district’s dedication to student safety.
Reduced Liability Issues
There are many school districts around the United States that contract with a bus company to handle student transportation. At the same time, there are school districts that have their own student bussing service.
Installing real-time GPS software into busses can help reduce your liability risk and potentially even improve insurance premium costs. Improved safety, efficiency analytics, logistics planning, more accurate vehicle maintenance scheduling, and driver accountability can all be integrated to maximize the performance of your fleet.
If there is a problem, related to liability in transport GPS tracking software can be used to determine where the point of problem occurred while also determining the burden of liability. At the same time, being able to demonstrate that you have driver accountability and training measures can further demonstrate your school district’s dedication to excellence.
Is GPS Tracking Costly?
All school districts have to adhere to often strict budget requirements. Large purchases often need to be brought before the school board, superintendent, and other entities before they can be approved.
Fortunately, real-time GPS tracking equipment and software are very affordable. Most interfaces are designed to be intuitive making it easy to train drivers and staff in how to use it.
The analytic features it provides can improve vehicle efficiency, make for more accurate maintenance scheduling, improved driver accountability and training as well as strengthening your school district’s reputation in the community. In short, GPS tracking for school buses is very inexpensive, while also helping to pay for itself in a relatively short amount of time.