RSU #54 Taps Into Transfinder’s Resources To Improve Transportation Operation
Saving Time and Fuel
In 2009 the State of Maine awarded a contract for a student routing and transportation management system to Transfinder. The contract enables any district in the state who wants to use the software for transportation management the ability to use the program free of charge.
Ann Barriault, Transportation Specialist for RSU 54, took advantage of the state’s offering and implemented Transfinder’s program, Routefinder Pro. At that time the school district was running 34 regular education routes and 11 special needs routes, and traveling 929 miles daily in addition to 305 miles for special education.
Ann used the visual aspect of the routing program to see all of her routes displayed on the map, and in doing so could see where routes were overlapping. Then, by adjusting stops and moving students to different buses, she was able to eliminate the overlap, saving miles, thereby time and fuel, as well as eliminate an entire bus, which amounts to an annual savings of over $80,000. Today the transportation department travels 805 miles a day for regular education and 259 miles for special education.
Ann works across departments in RSU 54, not unlike many transportation personnel, who spend part of their time working in the Superintendent’s office, facilities management, or in many other roles within the district. This makes time management essential, and the ability to get the job done with little hassle, or having to wait for return calls from support desks, primary.
In addition to Routefinder Pro being a great system, Ann has found the support team to be extremely helpful. “Transfinder’s support team gets back to me right away, and are quick to return custom reports, or answer any questions I have on using the software.” In addition, Ann uses the webinars in the Mytransfinder client portal to be a great refresher for the tasks that come up only a few times a year.
Using the system has saved Ann “…a lot of work”, and she has even found unique ways of using some of the features to help drivers, and improve the transportation operation. For example, Ann uses the student label report to print student’s picture and name, and adheres them to the windows creating a seating chart, which is a great visual for younger students, and especially helpful for substitute drivers unfamiliar with the students.