Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped many administrations and contractors find school bus routing software to optimize routes to maximize safety, punctuality and fuel use.

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Samsara

Samsara is a cloud-based fleet management solution that offers features such as GPS tracking, trailer tracking, dashboard camera, routing and dispatch, reefer monitoring and more. It is designed to help small and midsize fleet bus... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 53 recommendations

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Verizon Connect

Verizon Connect Reveal is a cloud-based electronic logging device (ELD) and fleet management platform that provides GPS fleet tracking to help businesses gain a 360 overview of all fleet management operations. High-resolution maps... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 19 recommendations

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Mobiwork MWS

Mobiwork MWS is a suite of field service solutions that features GPS tracking, inventory management, billing and invoicing, work order management, electronic forms, scheduling and dispatch and contact management. It offers cloud-b... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 12 recommendations

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High Point GPS

High Point GPS Tracking and Dispatch is a web-based solution designed to help companies coordinate and track their fleet of vehicles in real-time. Each vehicle is installed with a tracking device with a constant satellite and... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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IntelliShift

IntelliShift, a division of VTS, is disrupting multi-use fleet management with a next-generation unified platform. IntelliShift provides an end-to-end cloud-based solution tailored to each customer's operational goals. Solutions i... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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EcoTrack Fleet Management

EcoTrack Fleet Management is a real-time GPS tracking solution designed to help service, freight, and construction businesses increase route efficiency while reducing costs and maintaining vehicle life. This solution can be used t... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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FleetLocate

FleetLocate by Spireon, is a GPS-based fleet tracking software that provides actionable business intelligence with real-time monitoring of assets and workforces to enable timely, informed decisions that allow you to optimize resou... Read more

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REDLIST

REDLIST helps companies make maintenance management work easier and more productive. REDLIST is a mobile-ready, cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform accessible on computers and handheld devices. REDLIST also incl... Read more

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Loqqat

Loqqat is a cloud-based transport management system that helps educational institutions manage fleets and track buses during commute via a unified portal. The platform enables organizations to automatically generate trips and assi... Read more

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Versatrans Product Suite

Versatrans is a cloud-based fleet management solution designed to help educational institutions streamline buses scheduling and routing operations on a unified portal. The platform enables schools to define optimal routes with bor... Read more

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Routefinder Pro

Routefinder Pro is a transportation management solution that helps schools streamline operations related to routing, scheduling and planning of fleets. The application allows educational institutions to analyze pickup locations, o... Read more

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TrackSchoolBus

TrackSchoolBus is a cloud-based transport management solution that helps educational institutions manage routing, scheduling, payments and other operations via a unified portal. The application includes a route planner, which lets... Read more

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BusPlanner

BusPlanner is a transportation management system that helps educational institutions streamline routing, staff information management, costing, and other operations. The solution enables organizations to add bus stops, view popula... Read more

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SafeBus

SafeBus is a school bus routing solution that helps educational institutions create routes, track vehicle locations, monitor driver violations and more on a centralized platform. Administrators can use GPS tracking tools to monito... Read more

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MyClassCampus

MyClassCampus is a cloud-based integrated school management and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution designed for educational institutes such as schools, colleges, universities and coaching centers. Features include fees ma... Read more

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Ratality

Ratality is a multi-award winning cloud-based software solution to the bus, coach, charter and vehicle rental industries. Ratality offers a fully integrated solution to manage your entire company from one platform. Ratality's Re... Read more

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: April 21, 2021

School bus routing software is a critical tool for a school systems' transportation management program. These systems offer a significant amount of accountability and insight. By monitoring and tracking routes, bus operators can optimize fuel usage and scheduling to make sure students get to school on time.

Many route planning software offerings are packaged as part of greater fleet management tools. These large platforms perform critical tasks outside of routing, including maintenance management, payroll/accounting, and driver management.

We created this buyer's guide to help you understand the school bus routing software market and determine the best system for your needs.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is School Bus Routing Software?

Common Features of School Bus Routing Software

Benefits of Bus Routing Systems

What Type of Buyer Are You?

 

What Is School Bus Routing Software?

School bus routing software supports bus schedules and routing decisions. Like most route planning systems, school bus routing software optimizes driver routes to reduce fuel usage. School systems and/or bus management contractors have two primary options to choose from based on the capabilities they need. These two different types of software include:

  • Stand-alone bus routing. There are plenty of school bus-specific routing software options. These systems are built specifically for managing school bus routes and other adjacent functions. While some school bus-based systems offer other operational features, their core competency is planning pick-up and drop-off routes for buses.
  • Full fleet management suite. Formal fleet management systems are a great fit for supporting school bus management. These systems offer many capabilities outside of route planning, such as maintenance management, driver scheduling, payroll and accounting and more.

 

Common Features of School Bus Routing Software

Regardless of which software route you take, make sure the system you choose offers these core features:

Scheduling Assigns a set schedule to drivers/buses to ensure accountability and consistency.
Dispatch Provides communication lines between drivers and school administrators where they can discuss any changes to the script, such as unexpected delays or emergencies.
Vehicle tracking Uses GPS technology so school administrators can always know where a school bus is located. Tracks important details about each vehicle, such as mileage and fuel consumption.
Route planning and optimization Calculates the most efficient route in real time to account for any delays relative to drop off locations. Provide in-vehicle directions for driver.
Mobile app Helps administrators, contractors, and drivers instantly communicate about important updates via a mobile app.
Driver management Manages and tracks driver schedules. Provides a safe communication channel between drivers, dispatchers and the back office.

 

Benefits of Bus Routing Systems

School bus routing software provides a number of advantages, including newfound efficiencies and increased safety, productivity, and transparency.Our research shows that telematics capabilities can significantly benefit mobile, fleet-based organizations. GPS tracking systems track valuable information about vehicles. These systems analyze and keep records of this information, establishing performance benchmarks and tracking the achievement of these benchmarks over time.

Revenue-Boosting Benefits of GPS-Enabled Software
Revenue-Boosting Benefits of GPS-Enabled Software

The operational benefits of routing systems like these are the same for schools/school systems as they are for for-profit industry fleets.

Optimized scheduling and real-time routing help drivers meet pick-up/drop-off times and get students to and from school safely. And bus drivers spend less time traveling from one stop to the next, meaning they'll save operational costs in the long run with a reduction in fuel costs.

 

What Type of Buyer Are You?

There are a few primary types of buyers who are looking to adopt school bus routing software. These buyers include:

  • Individual schools, usually private operations, managing their own bus(es).
  • A school system comprised of multiple schools whose fleets of buses are all managed by the county or municipality.
  • School bus management business contracted by municipalities or by private schools.

These different types of buyers have unique needs based on the nature of their operations.

Contract operations are becoming more and more popular as schools increase their outsourcing of bus management operations to them. These third-party firms need full software suites (bundled packages of fleet management applications for the whole business).

The systems these businesses use include bus routing, scheduling, and tracking, but also extend out to driver sourcing and management as well as rating and quote management and vehicle maintenance.

School-managed fleet operations are more concerned with capabilities related to route scheduling, driver communication and GPS tracking.

Market Trends to Understand

Even though you're specifically looking for school bus management software, it's important that you have familiarity with what's going on in the general fleet management market. Specifically, there are new software features that may lower your costs of operation even more:

Efficiency, sustainability and environmentally-aware fleet logistics. As awareness for environmental health continues growing, people are starting to take notice. From a school bus management perspective, current and potential faculty and parents of student (and even students themselves) care more than ever about the carbon footprint of the school's operations.

Your fleet of school buses might be one of the most obvious examples of your school's carbon footprint, so employing routing software to reduce fuel usage can go a long way in impressing environmentally-conscious constituents.

Performance metrics and reporting dashboards. You'll have a hard time finding a fleet management system that doesn't offer reporting and analytics capabilities. Performance data such as the average time between pick-up/drop-off locations or frequency of on-time arrivals can be analyzed to optimize routes and bus schedules. These systems can also measure fuel usage to determine the most fuel-efficient routes.

Mobile devices. All school bus drivers for your fleet should have a mobile device issued to them in case of emergencies. As such, support for mobile devices is increasingly popular in the larger fleet management software market. These apps allow drivers to be in constant communication with dispatcher as well as other drivers.