Transportation upgrades

Over the past few years, we all have seen how difficult it can be when there are personnel shortages in the Transportation Department. In order to enhance the day-to-day operations of this important Department, BCPS will be adding software solutions that will allow more efficient monitoring and adjustments to operations. These software opportunities will allow our Transportation Department to quickly access updates on students, trips, field trips, vehicles, and staff to ensure our operation is running smoothly. 

“This upgrade includes a fleet maintenance package that allows BCPS to reduce costs, reduce vehicle downtime, extend vehicle life, increase technician productivity, maintain lower inventory levels, and extend better control of personnel and vendors,” states Troy Wood, Chief Operations Officer. 

By having available GPS tracking, BCPS will be able to: 

  • Compare actual data with planned routes to make key managerial decisions

  • Maintain our map using GPS data points before county maps are updated

  • Implement and modify routes in less time

  • Easily analyze and adjust driving paths and stop times

  • Track and improve driver behavior

  • Reduce the district’s carbon footprint by monitoring idle times

  • Increase overall fuel efficiency and reduce costs

In addition, the community will have access to an easy to use, all-in-one parent engagement app, allowing parents to know their child’s bus location and have access to the most accurate information about their student’s bus schedule. 

“The app will enhance communications with push notifications and two-way messaging for cancellations and delays,” Mr. Wood adds. “Parents will be able to schedule GeoAlert zones to know how far the bus is from their pick-up or drop-off location. It will also provide critical transportation data in real-time.” 

Each bus will be equipped with an onboard tablet that will allow drivers to clock in and out, submit disciplinary forms, track student bus attendance, and receive stop-by-stop direction. In the future, there will also be the ability to add student ridership ID cards for real-time bus attendance. These riderships can be designed to include barcodes that interact with BCPS cafeteria and library software programs. 

BCPS has begun partially implementing some of these software upgrades during the 2022-23 school year, including a soft roll-out with gradual increase in availability option for the community. BCPS’s goal is to have the full implementation of this software complete during the 2023-24 school year.