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Keys to Making School Bus Routes More Efficient

June 22, 2017

Today, everything is optimized.


Websites are optimized, workouts are optimized, school buses...optimized? Optimizing school bus routes is a struggle every district faces. It's far more challenging than you might think, and a staggering array of data is involved. School bus optimizing technologies like UbicaBus are working to make the process easier.



Why Does it Matter That Buses Are "Optimized?"
Better school bus routes result in three direct benefits: Safer children, lower operating costs, and less time wasted on the bus. The average school bus costs approximately $100,000 - imagine the savings to a small school district that realizes they only need five buses instead of seven. Likewise, consider the time spent doing homework, playing outside, or enjoying family instead of spending time on long school bus commutes.. Some studies suggest that the longer the bus commute, the poorer students perform on standardized tests. And, less time spent on the bus and waiting on inefficiently routed buses mean kids have fewer opportunities to be involved in dangerous bus-related accidents. Optimized school buses are a win-win for families and school districts. 


Keys to Efficient School Bus Routing

The first rule of school bus optimization is to consider all options. Nothing should be off the table, from utilizing toll roads to changing the start/stop time at school. Factors to consider include:

- Fewer buses with more students doesn't always result in longer time spent on the bus but almost always reduces operation costs.

- Staggering buses during drop-off/let-out time can have a significant impact on reducing aggregate deadhead time.

- Convincing more students in a district to take the bus can actually improve the efficiency of routes and minimize traffic at the school.

- Technological solutions should facilitate in-field changes to the route itself in the case of weather delays, construction, or excessive absences. 


The Technology of Optimizing Bus Routes
Today, technology for optimizing school bus routes exists. Not only that, but it's saving districts hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars a year. Considering over 25,000,000 children per day are transported via school bus, it's not hard to see the difference an "incremental" improvement in performance can make to the bottom-line.


Mathematical algorithms are the future of optimizing buses. Calculating factors like aggregate deadhead time, number of routes, and the GPS coordinates of bus stops is a complicated process. It's imperative that schools have the appropriate routing tools and the flexibility to easily change bus routes. UbicaBus' proprietary algorithms help planners customize bus routes based on time, distance, and capacity.



Is your school doing enough to optimize its school bus fleet?
Better-managed buses mean lower transportation expenses, safer students, and less pollution. UbicaBus is changing the way school buses move around the country. Find out more by contacting us today.

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