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This year has forced school districts into making more difficult decisions than ever before, and not only due to constraints caused by COVID-19. Districts have also faced increasing budget deficits due to shrinking enrollments and rising costs related to fuel, insurance, and school buses themselves. At Tulsa Public Schools, the second largest school district in Oklahoma, district leaders asked each department to present savings strategies and technological ideas in an effort to adjust to the new transportation environment and to prepare for a safe return to school amidst the pandemic.

As Tulsa’s transportation partner, TransPar implemented its COVID Decision-Making framework to ensure the proper questions were answered, the necessary supplies were in place, and the best policies were written to allow for a seamless return to school. Additionally, the TransPar team helped present and implement the following technology improvements to further aid in a safe return and to also help identify areas to increase operational efficiencies:

  • Remote timeclock system allowing for drivers and other hourly team members to clock in from their phone or tablet, eliminating the need to gather in groups at a central location.
    • Improved ability to maintain safe social distance
    • Reduce overhead needed to clean common areas and maintain supplies

 

  • RFID card readers on each bus where students swipe in and out once they board
    • Superior contract tracing
    • Accurate stop counts to allow for route reviews and potential saving strategies
      • Allowed Tulsa to reduce 5 routes and save thousands of dollars
    • Driver morale boost with increased sense of safety

 

  • ByteCurve installation
    • Transportation technology platform which integrates a district’s payroll system, routing software, and GPS
      • Tracking of buses in real-time all from a dispatch screen
      • Ensure synchronicity between bus arrivals and departures with driver schedules
      • Geofence around yards and schools allows for on-time performance reporting to better drive operational efficiencies
    • Tulsa saw its over-time hours drop from 500 to below 100

 

  • SafeStop student tracking application
    • Ability for parents to track the school bus and know where their children are located or when the bus will arrive
      • Reduced need to gather in groups at the bus stop
    • Ability to leave feedback within the app

 

As part of TransPar’s scope of work with Tulsa Public Schools, a bell time study and route efficiency analysis were performed. Upon presentation to the district, the following opportunities were identified:

  • If 25 buses were moved from the first tier to the third tier, TransPar could help the district save more than $1 Million each year

 

The Result: Tulsa Public Schools is now operating its transportation program more safely, and with greater efficiency, than prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the insights identified by TransPar’s COVID Decision-Making framework and the operational and route analyses has helped the district to reduce its expenses by 10 percent.

To learn more about how TransPar can help your district adjust to the new transportation environment, please visit our COVID Services page.