As a society, we are constantly on the go. Almost everything is becoming available on a mobile platform as technology continues to advance. Routing software should be no different.
Which is one of the reasons I love to talk with people about Traversa, the transportation management software from Tyler Technologies. And, specifically, about a feature of the software called Run Collector. Traversa itself is mobile-friendly overall — fully web-based and with an interface that works well on touch screens — but it also has features that take full advantage of the fact that we all walk around with a computer (and GPS) in our pocket every day. Run Collector is one of those features, and we’ve seen our clients have a lot of success with it over the years.
So what is Run Collector, and why do our clients love it?
- Create GPS-accurate routes — Traversa’s Run Collector allows users to geolocate a run with any GPS-enabled mobile device, recording the bread crumb trail and a record of each stop. The entire run, which is completely GPS accurate from beginning to end and includes all turn-by-turn data, can then be imported directly into the routing software. I’ve seen this make a big difference in rural districts where their previous map data wasn’t up to date.
- Ensure the accuracy of stop times and paths — A common way that our clients use Run Collector is to have an employee sit on a bus during its daily run, marking the timing and location of each stop. This means that the data collected is from the real world, and includes variables like traffic or slow loading that can be tricky to predict with accuracy. Many districts use it mid-year to review and check for variance from the planned runs. Or, they use it to build new, more accurate runs from scratch. However you use it, the Run Collector can help ensure the plans in the software reflect reality.
- Improve communication — This toll can help make it easier for information to be shared between professional drivers and the base, as well as from the base to any substitute drivers. Professional drivers will typically make small changes to the planned run based on their experience, which is useful, but only when it’s communicated back to dispatch. The Run Collector is a tool to help!
- Increase student safety — Since it is essential for drivers to stay on route, the Run Collector can also help increase safety for students. When runs are built using real-world data, your substitute drivers have an accurate route sheet and aren’t inundated with students yelling, “She doesn’t turn here!”
- Save money — GPS-equipped vehicles are becoming more and more of a must-have for school districts, but it’s not always in the budget. The Run Collector comes with Traversa at no extra cost, giving you a very affordable way to compare planned vs. actual runs.
The Run Collector is only one of four ways to build runs in Traversa, so you can implement, maintain, and check for accuracy in a way that is right for your district. We all know the staff in transportation departments often wear many hats. Any time we can help streamline processes, this efficiency can help you focus on the most important task at hand: getting students to and from school safely.