School Bus Tracking

Integrated System Tackles Student Transportation Logistics

Two software companies, one in education logistics and the other in industrial internet-of-things, have co-developed a system to help school districts sort out student transportation. Edulog develops software for school bus routing. Samsara uses IoT-generated data in a number of business sectors, including K-12, to optimize operations. Their new joint solution specifically addresses student safety, route planning and parent communication.

The integration enables Edulog customers to:

  • Design student transportation routes that support various bell schedules and physical distancing guidelines, perform contact tracing and provide information about student ridership;

  • Proactively share estimated time of arrival, route updates and other alerts through a parent portal app; and

  • Plan more efficient routes with modeling tools that use data collected about ridership, fleet use and route performance.

For the system to work, schools capture data on when and where students board and disembark from their buses using Samsara ID Card Readers and GPS tracking. With that information transportation staff can figure out which route students are on, locate the bus and confirm who else is on the bus.

Integrated System Tackles Student Transportation Logistics

One district customer, Roger Miller, transportation manager at East Allen County Schools, said he has seen improvements in the quality of his operations since adopting the integrated system. "This school year, agility and accountability were especially important as we prepared to reopen in the face of COVID-19. By working with Edulog and Samsara, we were able to optimize our route plans and move from hard-wired telematics devices to a driver-friendly, tablet-based solution," said Miller, in a Samsara article. "This solution helps us transport students safely and efficiently."

Miller added that drivers were trained on the use of tablets in a couple of hours. Now, when somebody calls in sick, the new system generates "faster re-routes" and "better performance for students and parents."

"For school districts, having accurate, real-time data is critical for responding to parents more confidently, improving the quality of their transportation and keeping students safe. But just as important is having a route management system that is the foundation for this data--you have to plan, analyze, and manage what is best for students and the community," said Jason Corbally, Edulog president. "The Edulog and Samsara integration will give schools, students, and parents the data and planning tools needed for a safe and efficient return to school this year."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.