Hollis Transportation Up and Running in a Month with Transfinder’s RouteBuilder Implementation Service for its Bus Routing Software.
Hollis Transportation Up and Running in a Month with Transfinder’s RouteBuilder Implementation Service
Hollis Transportation is a private bus company located in Hollis, New Hampshire. Nancy Orde is the owner of Hollis Transportation, which serves both the Hollis and Brookline school districts. Hollis and Brookline share a middle school and high school and each has two elementary schools. Hollis buses drive approximately 1,200 miles per day in a school year for an annual total of 216,000 miles. Nancy Orde knows every road her buses travel and for years has manually managed the routing for the nearly 4,400 students who attend these six schools.
Transportation management software wasn’t something Nancy had thought of investing in before, but she began to research the various product lines offered by software companies when Hollis and Brookline approached her to look for a solution. They wanted their administrators and personnel to be able to quickly and easily access their student information to know where and when students were being picked up or dropped off. However, the cost and acquisition of the software had to be the responsibility of Hollis Transportation. Hence, Nancy was seeking a cost-effective as well as an efficient solution.
Transfinder proved to be the most cost effective and efficient solution for Hollis Transportation for several reasons. Its transportation management software solution offered Nancy exactly what she was looking for without paying for features she didn’t yet see herself using. Transfinder also had a unique GPS implementation service, RouteBuilder, which would shorten the time to be up and running. Another advantage was that she would not have to make a capital investment in GPS hardware. In March 2009 Nancy received five GPS RouteBuilder units from Transfinder to use over a two-week period to record the 24 routes her buses traveled everyday.
As her drivers drove their regular routes, her routes came alive in Routefinder Pro. She then was able to see her actual routes and could then start making adjustments as needed for more efficient use of her vehicles. Using Routefinder Pro’s easy reporting, she then could easily make transportation information available to school district personnel.
However, she faced one more obstacle. The map provided by New Hampshire did not have the roads properly numbered, so with the help of her assigned Customer Project Manager from Transfinder, Nancy was able to re-number them and then geocode her students.
In less than a month Hollis Transportation had all its routes created in its Routefinder Pro routing system and Nancy was able to start making adjustments. After reassigning the roads and students, Nancy was able to quickly view her routes and do some analysis on the actual driving paths by having Routefinder Pro show her some options on the map.
Routefinder Pro gave Nancy several options to help her make the most informed decisions. Its flexibility enabled her to see the most efficient routes based on time and distance, but also allowed her to create the most desirable, or safest, routes based on her extensive knowledge of the geographic area and potential safety hazards. In short, the system gave Nancy assurance that Hollis Transportation was indeed offering the safest routes for students in the Hollis and Brookline schools.
As Nancy said, “The optimal routes were not a realistic option for me, because I had to keep the safety of the students in mind. Based on my knowledge of the area, hazardous locations and where students would be walking, as well as the districts’ and Hollis Transportation’s safety standards, I was able to decide the best option for Hollis and Brookline.”
RouteBuilder, a unique GPS implementation service offered only by Transfinder, offers a way for school districts to create routes from raw GPS data. Hand-held GPS units are sent by mail for drivers to use to track their actual routes as they drive. At each stop the drivers press one button, and when they come back, with a few clicks, a transportation director can view their routes through the RouteBuilder interface. After the routes are recorded in Routefinder Pro, they are returned to Transfinder, and the implementation team works with each director to help them determine the safest and most cost-effective driving paths.