2020 was a year full of new lessons to learn in every job role and every industry. In student transportation, ridership tracking took on new importance to aide in contact tracing and much more. As transportation managers look for technology that meets the unique needs of their student population, staff, fleet, and budget, the different options can be overwhelming.
Recently, Tyler Technologies held a webinar focused on the different options and methods for gathering and utilizing critical ridership data, featuring testimonials from districts seeing success with each.
The transportation professionals featured were happy to share stories of what kind of ridership technology best fit their needs for tracking data both related and unrelated to COVID-19.
James Scott, transportation supervisor at El Dorado Public Schools in Kansas, has been using the Tyler Bus Attendance app throughout the pandemic. El Dorado originally implemented the app expecting to need to utilize its contact tracing capabilities, but their district has had consistently low cases of COVID-19, and contact tracing wasn’t a priority.
Instead, the district has found the app to be beneficial in ways they had not expected. Since El Dorado has been frequently changing their routes, they’ve been using the app as a supplement for drivers to track route ridership through attendance checks.
The Tyler Bus Attendance app has also been able to help drivers adapt to the varying routes by displaying which students and stops are next on their current route.
Selena Hayes, transportation manager for Cowichan Valley School District in British Columbia has been utilizing the Tyler Telematic GPS solution at her district for years and found that they already had what they needed when the pandemic hit.
Cowichan students have RFID scan cards to manage tracking when boarding and disembarking the school bus. Hayes would use this data for any contact tracing when necessary but, more importantly, she can use the data for tracking at-risk students in her district.
Melissa ISD in Texas implemented Tyler Drive tablets to help collect student ridership data and provide turn-by-turn directions for substitute and new drivers.
Weston Bartlett, the transportation director at the time of implementation, was working to discover and provide data to help make the districts routes more efficient. He was able to reduce the number of routes and staff in order to save the district money.
During the pandemic, Melissa ISD has been able to use its Tyler Drive tablets in conjunction with student scan cards to provide any necessary contact tracing data as well as provide the drivers with updated routes to reflect adjusted routing schemes.
Tyler has been developing apps and features throughout the pandemic to better serve the student transportation industry. To learn more about Tyler’s student ridership offerings, watch this recorded presentation.