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With each passing year, the school transportation industry moves closer to meeting the demands of the largely digital (and automated) world. Modern technology has allowed for historically time-consuming and manual tasks to be reborn with a digitally-focused strategy, and in the midst of an enduring health pandemic, this need has never been more prevalent. In this 4-part blog series, Technology & the New Transportation Environment, TransPar takes a look at the technologies and innovations that kept school transportation safe for its passengers and transportation professionals throughout the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the most prominent lessons learned we’ve heard from our partners is how valuable modern technology has been in keeping students and staff safe, and how vital the ability to retrieve data in real-time was for promoting social distancing, contact tracing, and managing ridership levels. More specifically, the benefits of using RFID scanning capability to manage increased demands with limited resources has been hailed as especially advantageous for meeting the unique circumstances of this past year.

Because RFID technology does not require a direct line of sight in order to scan, and multiple RFID tags can be detected and read simultaneously in order to determine attendance, TransPar believed that this would be the ideal solution to COVID-19 related bus routing and safety challenges. In Oklahoma, we partnered with Tulsa Public Schools to install RFID readers on all active buses. By doing so, we were able to expand attendance tracking, emergency management, route optimization, and reporting due to improved data collection – even during a pandemic.

The success realized by Tulsa is not an anomaly, and many districts across the nation have begun to integrate tracking mechanisms into daily operational life. At TransPar, we clearly see the value and ease it brings to transportation networks and would love the opportunity to help you find a tracking solution that’s right for your organization.

Stay tuned for Part III of our series, “Bytecurve Transportation Software Integration”.