Small District Uses Transfinder's Professional Services to Implement Their Routes and Find Savings
The school district was experiencing a steadily declining student enrollment combined with economic constraints, which had resulted in a significant school budget reduction. As a result the district was forced to cut personnel and programs. These serious cuts led the district to evaluate its service contracts, and in doing so, found it had been paying the contractor for more school bus runs than were actually taking place. In addition, the routes had not been adjusted in thirty years.
Robert Postupac, Superintendent for the school district, invested in Transfinder in 2011 to help him take control of the routing and evaluate bus routes to find where savings could be achieved. To do this he purchased Routefinder Pro and employed the services of Transfinder’s professional services team to implement his routes and review them for savings. Robert’s goal was to have all current routes into the routing system by the end of the spring. To be sure the route information would be accurately documented, Robert used school staff and administrators to ride on each bus with a RouteBuilder portable GPS unit, supplied by Transfinder. The unit signaled each time the door opened and closed.
Transfinder’s professional services team then took the stored RouteBuilder GPS information, and over the course of a few months, mapped the routes in Routefinder Pro. The professional services team used the assistance of Robert and his secretary, Diane, to clarify streets, and throughout the process helped them to gradually learn the system.
After the routes had been implemented the professional services team then worked to organize all the student information. To get started, Robert and Diane sent Transfinder the student addresses they had on file from that school year. As the professional services team geocoded each student to the Routefinder Pro map, they again employed the help of Robert and Diane to verify addresses and continued to familiarize them with the system. Finally, staff and administrators rode the buses again to verify who was actually riding the bus each day and how many students were on each route.
Once the professional services team had all the bus runs routed and knew where each student lived and who was being transported, they then reviewed the routes to find where adjustments could be made.
After reviewing the fully implemented routes, Transfinder’s professional services team created three scenarios for possible changes. One scenario eliminated four buses and added a van for the pickup of seven students who were located in a remote location of the county. The other two scenarios helped the district save money by eliminating buses or routes, but did not create as many changes. All three were presented to the board, who decided to adopt the scenario, which carried the greatest savings to the district.
The new routes were fully implemented the following school year. With the preparation and the help of a fully implemented system, the district was able to effectively communicate the new bus information to parents. The district experienced a smooth transition and easy start to the school year, and their return on investment was a safer, and more efficient system combined with thousands of dollars in savings.
Western Beaver County School District is a rural district in Pennsylvania currently transporting all 750 enrolled students. The district transports students to two school buildings; one which houses the pre-kindergarten to fifth grade students and the second, which houses the sixth grade to twelfth grade students.