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Planning Bus Routes

September 02, 2019

As the summer months pass, students and parents look towards the new school year. At the same time, school administration prepares for the next wave of fresh, eager minds to grave their halls. One of the tasks the transportation division of the school district has is to plan bus routes. While it may seem simple, it is not always so.

For many transportation directors, they plan out the routes and often do not plan to need extra buses. When it comes to students and parents especially, it is always best to plan for the unexpected. It is a best practice to look at your entire district as a whole instead of individual stops. Planning routes is more efficient this way. Looking at whole neighborhoods and analyzing from that vantage point will serve you better in the long run.

Bus routes are best created with data like bus stops and number of students. For efficiency, using a route optimization program like MyRouteOnline is an essential tool. But beyond creating efficiency, there needs to be incentive to strive for it. Budgets are tight as it is and schools cannot afford to spend excess money on bus driver salaries and fuel costs.

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For example, in 2007-2008 the state of North Carolina spent 70% of total transportation costs on fuel and bus driver wages. This is essentially the direct result of poor routing. By incentivizing efficiency, thousands of dollars can be saved and put back into other school programs. A boost like this can create a new positive energy within the school district.

Beyond implementing MyRouteOnline, there must be checks and balances on being efficient. For example, mechanical checks on buses and documenting appropriate mileage and times for each route so that safety isn’t sacrificed for efficiency. Even just switching to the optimized software program that MyRouteOnline offers can save immediate money in the first day. The routes are accessible through any device that can access the internet and real time changes can be made from the dispatch office.

If you want to come in under budget this school year, create incentives for your drivers and transportation workers and check out MyRouteOnline for all your optimization needs.