School buses are under pressure to not only provide a safe, reliable service to school children and their parents, but also to run efficiently and provide a profitable return to the fleet companies contracted to run the bus service for the school district.
How can fleet managers achieve all the objectives of a professionally-run school bus fleet? Like any job, the answer lies in using the right tools.
- Safety — Track all buses in real-time so parents can be notified of the actual arrival time of the buses, minimizing the time children have to wait, exposed to bad weather or other dangers. Alerts can also be set up so that fleet managers receive a message the instant buses enter a no-go zone, or drivers engage in unsafe driving.
- Cost-savings — Monitor bus driving patterns to make sure drivers operate their vehicles efficiently, eliminating unnecessary idling, observing speed limits and not taking detours. And because GPS tracking is considered an anti-theft device by most insurance companies, you can save on insurance premiums, too.
- Time — Avoid time-consuming manual collection of fleet activity needed for state reports and compliance with CSA 2010. With GPS tracking this information is automatically collected and reported, which saves time and minimizes errors for both drivers and fleet managers.
- Better maintenance — Improve the regularity and timeliness of preventative maintenance with automatic GPS tracking on vehicles. Know in advance when bus servicing is due to minimize downtime and unwanted breakdowns, as well as allowing sufficient time to schedule substitute buses. Accurate mileage tracking also means better warranty recovery — another cost saving.
- Environmental accountability — Optimize routing and track engine idling to minimize your impact on the environment, trim pollutant emissions, and reduce your fleet's carbon footprint. Proudly report on your 'green fleet' metrics to shareholders, parents, the DOE or OPT (Office of Pupil Transportation), making your school bus fleet more likely to be the vendor of choice.
- Tender successfully — GPS tracking doesn't just make a school bus fleet more profitable; students, parents and government agencies also benefit. By highlighting the benefits of real-time GPS tracking, school bus companies can tender for service contracts more successfully, with a greater chance of winning valuable routes.
Making it safer for NYC school children
Providing a GPS-tracked school bus service on their fleet of almost 200 vehicles, New York bus company All County Bus has been able to deliver on its 'safety first' focus. Running approximately 250 different routes from Yonkers to Peekskill, All County Bus uses GPS tracking to make sure the company maintains the trust and confidence that parents and caregivers have in its service.
Notably, All County Bus specializes in taking care of children with special needs, so safety is an even higher priority for them.
GPS tracking enhances safety levels through:
- Constant monitoring and recording of bus location and speed — Incidents of speeding, late arrivals or early departures can be tracked and managed accordingly. Dispatchers can also easily relay bus location information to parents.
- *Reduced operating costs *— Within a relatively short time, All County Bus has reduced fuel costs by $20,000 by implementing Telogis Fleet™.
- 2-way contact with drivers — Dispatch can easily and safely communicate with drivers at all times, allowing drivers to be warned about potential dangers. Drivers can also communicate for assistance in cases of bullying, mechanical breakdown or some other emergency.
- Well-maintained vehicles — All County Bus have achieved and maintained an excellent mechanical safety record through utilizing its GPS fleet maintenance software to stay on top of a rigorous maintenance plan. The company's buses have consistently exceeded the NYS Bus Inspection Profile for more than three years running.
Solve school bus company problems with GPS tracking
GPS tracking can solve problems faced by modern school bus companies, as well as improving the service they offer. If you're involved with managing a school bus fleet, then it's vital to look into how GPS fleet tracking can revolutionize how you manage and market your business. Don't think of it as an expense — it's an investment. In fact a lot of fleets find they have recovered the cost of installing GPS tracking within 120 days!