West Fargo public schools has a clear mission statement. Their operation is “committed to providing student transportation services in a safe, timely, and respectful manner while maintaining a supportive and courteous presence in the community.”
In order to enhance service and safety, streamline their operations, and become more efficient, Transportation Director Bradley Redmond knew the organization needed to assess and be confident that their GPS tracking system was as accurate and reliable as possible.
In line with the West Fargo mission statement, Bradley wanted to improve the resolution of student whereabouts situations, and the communication among parties when such a circumstance arises. These situations needed to be resolved quickly.
Redmond understood however that integration with their existing systems could be a real challenge, if he selected multiple vendors.
Bradley explained, “as our GPS contract was coming to an end, we sought out other school district and bus contractor experiences. A common theme was that several were struggling with integration issues between their vendors.”
When adding new technology like a gps tracking system, the challenges get bigger and the stakes get higher. bradley can’t afford any downtime or technical problems while implementing new technology. he was concerned about the task of integrating their student information system (SIS) with a new RFID card system. According to reports from other districts and contractors, his concern was valid. From what he heard, it was almost impossible to expect multiple software and hardware vendors to work together to build a viable solution.
“The vendors kind of just gave up,”
Bradley approached Tripspark‘s K-12 transportation business (now Busology) because he was already successfully using their solution, which included scheduling and dispatching. Working with a single vendor often leads to fewer issues with systems integration and a simpler implementation. Indeed, because Tripspark’s solution was already integrated Tracking solution proved to be simple and easy. As Bradley put it,
“Rolling out RFID to one of our elementary schools was refreshingly easy and required very little effort on our end.”
Soon after the Busology GPS Tracking solution was implemented at West Fargo public schools, a crisis was averted just as it began.
In the first few weeks of school, a kindergarten student appeared to go missing within the bus system, having not disembarked at their assigned stop. This obviously was a major concern for the staff and even more so for the student’s parents.
By quickly looking up the RFID tracking information (which tracks in real time when and where students board and disembark buses) the staff was able to verify that the student had in fact boarded the bus. The driver was alerted and he pulled over immediately to inspect the bus. Sure enough, the student was found sleeping soundly at the back of the bus, and that was why she missed her stop. Finding the student took five seconds and alerting the parents she had been found took two minutes. The driver was then able to drop the student off safely at her assigned stop to everyone’s relief.
According to Bradley, implementing the Busology GPS Tracking solution went smoothly. He also appreciates being able to easily leverage their existing Tripspark software to seamlessly migrate to the new Busology solutions, including Routing and Scheduling, and GPS Tracking. Bradley also knows from experience that answers to any questions he has are only a phone call away.