I sat down with Andy J. Martin, who recently retired after 37 years in the field of student transportation. He began his career in 1980 as the Coordinator of Transportation at a small district, and by 1987, he was working as the Transportation Director at Elgin U-46, the second largest school district in Illinois. He … Continue reading Interview with a Transportation Professional
I get the chance to talk to lots of transportation staff from districts across the U.S. and Canada, and I’ve found that across the board, the highly successful student transportation departments have something in common: they stop and look around. It’s harder than it sounds. Student transportation is a crazy business, with many tasks always … Continue reading Tales from the Road: District Gains Insight Through Technology
Driving a school bus can be the beginning of a long and varied career in student transportation. Most drivers also work as mechanics, trainers, dispatchers, or directors — or they plan to move into one (or all) of those roles in the future. So it’s important for those working in student transportation to become familiar … Continue reading Student Transportation Industry Resources
Summer is a quieter time for school transportation (relatively, of course), so this may be the best time of year for preparing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for those technology solutions you’re considering adding to your district operations. In order to help you craft an RFP that gets you the win as much as your … Continue reading What Happens When a Vendor Responds to an RFP?
Warmer temperatures are underway. Baseball games and track meets dominate your athletic trip schedule. You’re planning for the hectic finals week. Somehow, it's almost the end of the school year again and, if you’re like most people who work in K-12 transportation, you cringe when someone says, “Aren't you off for the summer?” Not only … Continue reading Summer School and Routing Software
There is a lot of talk these days about on-board tablet solutions for the K-12 transportation industry. It sounds similar to the buzz a decade ago about GPS technology. School transportation is what car manufacturers call a “follower” industry. That is, it follows the trends of the commercial vehicle market, only delayed by several years. … Continue reading Are Tablets Really the Next Big Thing?
There are as many viewpoints on technology in the K-12 industry as there are transportation professionals. You can see this easily in the vast differences between district operations. Some districts are fully equipped with the latest GPS/AVL technology, student card readers, routing and field trip software and even on-board tablets for navigation. Others use spreadsheets and … Continue reading Industry Viewpoints on Technology
As a Tyler Technologies employee, there’s nothing I like better than stories of school districts using Tyler products and seeing great success. Here’s a great story of a district that was facing huge overruns in their transportation budget, and who used Versatrans to save money — without reducing their service or laying off drivers. The … Continue reading Tales From the Road: Transportation Department Turns Budget Shortfall into Surplus
Wikipedia tells us "A truism is a claim that is so obvious or self-evident as to be hardly worth mentioning.” I think we would all agree that our work as K-12 transportation professionals is filled with truisms, concepts that are so obvious or self-evident that we might find ourselves taking them for granted. This post … Continue reading We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident
Remember the story of the Three Little Pigs? Piglet number one builds his house out of straw and the wolf is able to blow it right down. Piglet number two builds his house out of wood, certainly better than straw, but the wolf is also able to blow it down. Piglet number three takes the … Continue reading The Building Blocks of a Routing Plan