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How GPS Tracking Will Improve Your Local School System Brian Dziuk | Jan 11, 2016 8:36:32 AM

School buses carry precious cargo... The children who are being molded into the future of this country.Schools have a lot of demanding challenges that they have to meet, from making sure that students can pass standardized learning assessments, to providing safe transportation to and from school. Meeting these challenges on a tight school budget can be demanding.

With money for important resources such as textbooks, fuel, and teaching staff being so limited, how can you justify spending money on GPS tracking systems for your school district’s vehicle fleet?

Your school district may want to use GPS fleet tracking systems because these systems can help improve certain elements of the school system’s daily operations.

What are these improvements?

Here’s a short list of improvements that school systems can experience from using GPS fleet tracking:

Improvement #1: Increased Control Over Bus Routes

Planning routes for school buses can be one of the most important decisions that education administrators face. An efficiently-planned school bus route allows buses to pick up students and drop them off at the school quickly, using the minimum amount of fuel.

Inefficiently-planned routes, on the other hand, can waste time and fuel, delaying the arrival of students to class and cutting in on their education time. The efficiency of a bus route can also be hurt when a driver goes off-route, taking detours that add to the time it takes to finish their routes.

GPS tracking for school buses helps to improve route control for schools in a few key ways:

  1. Detour Control. When a bus’ regular route is blocked by traffic, roadwork, or an accident, dispatch can use GPS software to give that bus a step-by-step guide to getting back on track.
  2. Unauthorized Route Deterrence. Keeping bus drivers on their assigned routes helps keep them from getting lost. With GPS tracking, you can quickly spot when a bus goes off its assigned route and guide it back before there’s an issue.
  3. Idle Time Monitoring. When buses are on their assigned routes, you can use GPS tricking systems to check whether or not the bus is in motion. Naturally, buses need to stop for railroad crossings and their designated pickup zones, but are buses holding too long in areas where they’re not supposed to? Time spent idling burns gas without getting students closer to their destination. With GPS tracking, you can identify which buses are spending too much time in idle, and adjust their route or schedule accordingly.

By preventing drivers from taking unauthorized routes, spending too much time in idle, and getting lost trying to detour around traffic, you can greatly increase the fuel efficiency of your bus fleet. Additionally, you can help ensure that students get to class on time so they don’t miss out on any important lessons.

Improvement #2: Improved Bus Safety

Another benefit of using GPS fleet tracking for school buses is that it can help improve safety for the bus and its passengers.

How so?

Here are a few ways:

  1. Improved Bus Driver Practices. With GPS systems on a school bus, you can monitor driver behaviors such as speed and braking habits. This way, if a driver is using unsafe practices such as accelerating too quickly or failing to stop for railroad crossings, you can quickly identify the behavior and correct it.
  2. Faster Emergency Response. When a school bus is involved in an accident, time can be a critical factor in determining the safety of the bus’ passengers. With GPS tracking, you can forward the last known location of the bus to emergency responders so they can find the vehicle faster.
  3. Never Lose the Bus’ Location. In a recent post, we talked about the nightmare of the missing bus scenario. While it sounds impossible in today’s modern world, buses can go missing, either because of driver error or through malicious intent. With GPS tracking, you can easily track a “missing” bus and guide it back to its proper route, or alert the authorities to its most recent GPS coordinates. This helps keep buses, and their precious cargo, from going missing and causing a full-blown media panic.

All of these help to make sure that the buses your school district uses are safer for the children who need them to get to and from school on a daily basis.

These advantages are even more impactful for irregular events such as school field trips, where bus drivers might not be as familiar with the route they’re driving.

Improvement #3: Better Maintenance Scheduling

Maintenance is key for keeping a fleet of school buses operating a peak efficiency and preventing on the road breakdowns.

With GPS fleet tracking software, your school system can track important statistics such as engine performance and total mileage for each bus that has a GPS tracker. With this data, you can create a more efficient maintenance schedule for each bus, one that focuses on the buses that most need maintenance first.

By doing this, you can avoid costly on-the-road breakdowns through efficiently-planned preventative maintenance.

These three improvements are just a small sample of the ways that GPS tracking can help to improve a school system. With GPS tracking, you can help ensure that your students get from their bus stops to your classes and back safely and on time.

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