Protection of children is the biggest priority of parents. They want to take all the necessary steps to ensure that their kids are safe. The well-being of the children that go to school on a bus is the biggest concern for the parents. What is the condition of the bus? Is it safe to travel in? Is the driver following the right path or not? All these questions come to mind, and the school bus tracking software provides the answer to them.
A modern GPS tracking software can keep the parents aware of their kids’ whereabouts while they are travelling. Everything is available in the monitoring software, from the boarding information to the route taken by the bus. Let us have a look at the GPS tracking software for a bus in detail.
What is it?
The bus tracking software is a solution that can track the school bus in real-time, providing updates on its status and location. It provides alerts to the parents and the school administration, keeping them informed about the whereabouts of the children and the vehicles.
Some modern systems also enable communication amongst all the stakeholders. The drivers can communicate with the administration in real-time, providing the latest updates. Any issue can be resolved instantly with the help of an open line of communication.
How does it work?
It is based on IoT technology that transmits the data over a network to the GPS server. The location of the bus can be tracked through monitoring software or a mobile app. With the help of the mobile app, the parents can see the bus’s location on the map. The other important details like the arrival time are also available.
Steps Involved in Setting up A School Bus Tracking System:
Different aspects combine to form a bus tracking software. Some of the prominent ones are as follows:
The initial step in setting up tracking software is account creation. It involves signing the agreement to register the school with a specific address. After the creation of the account, it is validated and becomes functional for usage.
There are different types of hardware involved in the working of a school bus tracking system. It includes GPS tracking devices, RFID Cards, RFID Scanners, NFC smartphones. All these hardware should be available to ensure an integrated tracking mechanism. You should seek professional help to install GPS trackers and RFID scanner on the buses.
The information like the vehicle details, students’ info, drivers’ info, routing details etc., is entered in the tracking software. The school management can edit the data according to their requirement. It allows them to set the required database to facilitate the operations of tracking software.
Route planning is a critical step in the working of bus tracking software. When the input data like pick up and drop locations are added to the software, it uses AI to identify efficient routes. With the availability of the required data, the software plans out the most suitable routes.
Issuance of RFID Cards:
After students are allocated the stop and routes, they are issued RFID cards. With the help of these cards, they can mark their attendance while entering the bus. It allows the parents to view whether their kid has boarded the bus or not.
User Profile Creation:
Different profiles are created for multiple users to access the system. It includes the school management and the parents. With separate profiles, everyone can view the required information whenever they want.
The students can swipe their RFID cards to register attendance daily. When they enter the bus, they swipe the card with a unique ID to mark their presence. It helps ensure that every student is on the bus.
Some of the key features of a school bus tracking software are as follows:
Vehicle Information Management:
The bus tracking software contains all the information related to the vehicle like license details, maintenance data, student allotments, routes, stops, fees etc. With all the important data available in one place, it becomes convenient to retrieve it.
The software allows complete route management, including creating new routes and deleting old ones. You can assign the students to the routes according to their pick up and drop location. The stops can also be designated according to the requirement. A change in stop or route activates an alert informing the parents and faculty about it.
The fee management of the transportation can be done through the software. It allows you to record important details like the collected fees and the pending ones. The receipts of the fee payment are also available as proof to prevent any confusion.
The seat allocation of the students is an important task as it demands an efficient mechanism to conduct it effectively. With the help of the management system, the available seats in every vehicle are mentioned. It ensures that every bus transports students according to its capacity. It prevents overcrowding and, subsequently, chances of accidents.
With the help of the mobile alerts, the parents remain aware of the location of the students. Useful information like pick up and drop timing is also conveyed through notifications. In case of any delay in the arrival of an emergency, the parents are informed via timely alerts.
Mobile App Integration:
The integration of the software with the mobile app allows the parents to get the updates remotely. With the availability of Google Maps, the parents can view the exact current location of the bus.
There are various reporting options available in the modern school bus tracking system, including the attendance and vehicle performance reports. It allows parents and fleet managers to analyze data in detail and get useful insights.
How does it help?
The bus tracking software ensures convenience and safety at the same time. It is useful for the parents, drivers and school management. Let us look at how it helps everyone individually.
Benefits for Parents:
No need to wait:
No one likes waiting, especially when you have a tight schedule, and the same is the case with the parents. They cannot afford to wait for a long time to pick up or drop their kids at the bus stop. With the complete information about the vehicle’s arrival time, the parents can plan out their routine accordingly.
Assurance of safety:
The kids’ security during the transportation is the primary concern of the parents. With the tracking solution, they know the location of the kids and their entry and exit times. The parents receive all the important updates like arrival delay, route deviation or any other emergency. It gives them peace of mind as they have access to all the necessary information.
Access to Reporting:
The parents can have access to both the real-time and historical travelling details of the buses. It helps them analyze the useful routing data helping them to spot any unusual activity. Thus, they can convey any reservations in the routing data to the administration, enabling them to take action.
Access to Bus Attendance:
With the help of the mobile app, parents can view the bus attendance of their children from anywhere. It helps them to ensure that their kids are going to school regularly.
Privacy of Data:
While using the school bus GPS tracking system, you do not need to worry about the privacy of your kid’s information. A secure mechanism through a unique password ensures that every parent views only the data of his kid. It prevents the breach of privacy and misuse of information.
At times the bus schedule does not match the parent’s routine. The software allows them to request the change in the arrival time or route according to their convenience. It helps them to have flexibility in their routine.
Benefits for Drivers:
Some of the most prominent advantages of tracking software for drivers are as follows:
A bus tracking system allows drivers to boost their efficiency in different ways. With route scheduling and optimization, they can reach the destination in less time. They can also reduce fuel consumption by avoiding longer routes and reducing idling time. All of this presents a good impression of them in front of the management.
With timely maintenance, the buses are less likely to suffer malfunctioning. It reduces the probability of crashes keeping the drivers safe. In case of an accident, the tracking software can immediately detect it, enabling fast response.
Sometimes, the drivers find it hard to justify an incident to their bosses despite all the explaining. When you have a mechanism that shows every trip in real-time, you have proof of everything. Therefore, it makes it easy for drivers to explain themselves in case anything goes wrong.
Convenient Vehicle Allocation:
During the transportation operations of a school bus, vehicle allocation can be a confusing task. As there are many vehicles in the fleet, allocating them to the most suitable drivers is a challenge. With the help of bus tracking software, the drivers know which vehicles they have to drive. Due to this reason, there are lesser confusions during the daily operations helping to boost efficiency and productivity.
Benefits for School Administration:
The tracking software helps the management in many ways, and some of the notable ones are as follows:
The tracking software allows the management to organize the routes according to their convenience. They can designate buses on various routes by keeping the number of students in mind. It ensures that there is a distribution of burden and prevents the overloading of buses.
The management can choose the shortest routes with the help of information like allocated students and their pick and drop location. It helps them to save a lot of fuel expense. In case of any route deviation, the parents are informed timely. It helps improve the transportation service, ensuring the satisfaction of the parents.
Managing Pick and Drop Timings:
While scheduling new pick up and drop timings, the biggest challenge is to update the parents and the children about it. With an efficient management system at your disposal, you can communicate the new timings to everyone. It helps ensure that the children do not miss the bus.
The school administration can monitor the movement of the bus in real-time. With the help of live GPS tracking, the latest location updates can be viewed on the map. It allows the management to spot any deviation from the route and inquire the driver about it. Due to strict observation, the driver efficiency increases resulting in better productivity. Any emergency can also be identified quickly, enabling timely response.
The reporting is an essential element to gauge the performance of the transportation process. With the help of the school bus tracking system, regular reports of the routing data are available. Different aspects can be viewed in the reports, from the driver’s punctuality to routes and Eco-driving. It helps the administration to assess the discrepancies and rectify them, enabling to reduce the fuel consumption.
Keeping the record of the bus fee is an important task for the school administration. Which students have paid and which are remaining? The tracking software can answer all these questions. It also allows you to view the receipts and issue them with a single click.
The transportation department of an institute has multiple vehicles with different drivers. Keeping a record of them can be a daunting task sometimes. However, with the help of efficient software, you can keep the personal information of every individual.
The daily trips can be organized by allocating routes and vehicles to the drivers. With real-time monitoring, one can ensure whether the driver is following the designated route or not.
Read Also: Most Effective Ways to Track School Buses
Tips for choosing the best School bus GPS tracking Software:
Although the effectiveness of tracking software cannot be denied, choosing the best one can be a challenge. You can consider the following guidelines to choose an efficient tracking software:
At times, the software could be ideal for one transportation mechanism but not desirable for the other. It is not advisable to go for a robust system without any room for enhancement. Therefore it should have the ability to expand according to the requirement. Similarly, it should be flexible enough to integrate with other solutions like CRM or financial software.
Route optimization is one of the most integral components of an efficient school bus tracking system. It allows the drivers to travel on the most cost-effective routes saving a good amount of fuel expense. In addition to cost-efficiency, route optimization also enables quick transportation.
The maintenance of the fleet is one of the primary jobs of managers. It could become a bit difficult when there is a large number of vehicles to manage. However, with the help of an efficient school bus GPS tracking system, maintenance becomes easier.
It provides timely information about any defects in the machinery through vehicle diagnostics. Thus, fleet managers can save a lot of maintenance cost by conducting timely service and repair.
No-entry Zone Warnings:
There could be areas on the route that could be potentially dangerous. They should be marked as no-go zones, and the students should be kept away from them. With efficient software, the drivers can get a warning whenever they enter the no-entry zone. This helps prevent any undesirable incidents keeping the students away from any danger.
During school transportation, the importance of GIS mapping is undeniable. It uses the raw geographic data and, after processing, shows it on the map. With the help of GIS mapping, the drivers can spot the obstacles on the route. It allows them to anticipate hurdles and change directions timely.
No matter how efficient the software is, it is not ideal without cost-effectiveness. Therefore, it is essential to consider the pricing before making any choice. If software offers a good return on investment (ROI), it can be considered a cost-effective option. It means that it is providing great output for its price. You can also gauge the ROI by comparing your solution with the other options in the market.
The introduction of a school bus tracking system has made it easy for the school administration to automate their transportation operations. In addition to the administration, the parents can also utilize the software to keep track of their kids.
Despite all the benefits, if the tracking software is not chosen with care, it could prove to be counterproductive. Following the guideline mentioned above can help out in making a smart choice.