The world changes quickly. Changes in technology are even quicker. It can feel impossible to keep up with sometimes, and one of your greatest challenges as a transportation professional is fitting today’s technology into your operation. Like everything you do, it involves managing many different expectations: Parents expect the school bus location to show up … Continue reading Managing Expectations for Changing Technology
In Men, Machines, and Modern Times, Elting Morison shares the story of a British officer in the 1940s who was reviewing his unit’s processes. Previously pulled by horses, the unit’s cannons had been mechanized, and the officer brought in an expert to study stop-motion pictures of a light artillery crew going through their firing drills. … Continue reading Are You Still Holding Your Horses?
Put yourself in the shoes of a kindergartner riding the bus for the first time. You’ve never been somewhere without mom or dad, there’s a bunch of older kids at the bus stop you’ve never met, and you’re supposed to get on the loud yellow monster to go do this “school” thing. Transportation departments have … Continue reading How Does Transportation Tech Affect the Quality of Service?
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
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?
The last time you took a summer vacation somewhere new, where did you stop to purchase your atlas? That’s your laughably rhetorical question for the day. Whether you’re reacting with nostalgia, or you’re wondering what an atlas is, you agree that it’s a pretty absurd thought these days. Disruption. That’s the word we use when … Continue reading Technology Disruption? Or Evolution?
Selecting the right software to help you run your operation is one of the most critical decisions you can make in student transportation. And it’s a decision you’ll make based off of one or two demonstrations of the program. That’s why it’s so important that you don’t just see what the salesperson wants to show. … Continue reading Who’s Driving Your Software Demo?
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?
I still remember getting my first PC at work (1988), my first email (1992) and even proudly showing my dad how I could instantly alphabetize a long list of names with my spreadsheet. In the beginning, technology seemed like a special, almost magical addition to our lives. Contrast that with the influence of technology on … Continue reading Remember When We Used to Call It High Tech?
“The server is down.” “We should be back up shortly.” Several hours later: “Sorry for the inconvenience, the server is now back online.” You might be thinking that an outage measured in hours is too long, and you would be right. But what if hours turned into days, or even weeks? Our dependency on technology … Continue reading Are You Ready for Disaster?