John Fahey, assistant superintendent at Buffalo (N.Y.) City School District, discusses the most common mistakes made during the routing process.
Letting the computer determine the route. I have noticed a tendency for our routers to let the automated routing program select the route. The program uses its built-in logic to select the quickest, shortest route to get from point A to point B. However, this route may not be the best way to drive a 35-foot, 10-ton vehicle. I instruct my routers to use the computer-selected route as a starting point only. I am relying on their knowledge of the streets to modify the computer-selected routes to create safer routes and stops.
Loose routing patterns. You want to make sure that your routing patterns are tight and efficient.
Right turns after a drop-off. Routing the bus to make a right turn immediately after a right side drop-off creates the possibility of a child being run over by the rear wheels as the bus makes its turn. The bus should always be routed to go the extra block to make a right turn.
Unnecessary crossovers. Sometimes crossovers are unavoidable, but there are many instances when they could be avoided with a bit of forethought on the part of the router.