While decreases in spending by school districts usually results in less effective and less efficient school services for students, a county school system in Georgia has saved money and improved services for everyone by installing GPS technology on 156 of their school buses.
The school system’s transportation department was over budget in December of 2013. In December 2014, after using the GPS technology for nine months, the transportation department was under budget and seeing significant savings in the areas of driver salaries and overtime pay.
The system makes drivers more accountable for their time and improves the accuracy of reports about the driver’s activities. The GPS tracking is able to provide detailed reports about mileage, actual routes driven, and idle times. These activities can be easily checked daily. The reports are also making the bus driver’s jobs easier by simplifying the pre- and post-bus inspections that are required.
GPS tracking is able to track all school buses in real time. It can notify parents of the actual arrival times and reduce the time they are required to wait in bad weather. The fleet managers can be alerted instantly if a school bus driver enters an unauthorized area or deviates from their route. Actual speeds are constantly monitored and alerts are sent to the fleet manager if any drivers engage in unsafe driving.
Other benefits for school systems
Having on-board GPS tracking is not just about monitoring the driver’s behavior. Improved efficiency means less fuel used and less pollution for the environment. Other benefits to school systems include:
- Easily audit drop-off and pick-up times to develop more efficient routes.
- Automatically notify drivers of areas with congested traffic or accidents to reduce wait time and minimize any disruptions to schedules.
- Driver time sheets and log books can be automated to improve record keeping and create a more uniform reporting system.
- Automatic notifications of routine services reduce downtime and helps prevent unexpected breakdowns.
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