A Simplifying Software Program

Posted on December 1, 2002
Merle Jewett, director of transportation for the Merced (Calif.) City School District, manages transportation for approximately 600 special-needs students in 48 different educational facilities across an 1,800-square-mile area. According to Jewett, routing special- needs students is his toughest challenge because they have different babysitters, different pick-up and drop-off sites and every day of the week there is the possibility that the students will be riding a different bus. To deal with these complicated routing duties, the district uses a geographical information system (GIS). At a state transportation conference, Jewett attended a presentation on a product made by Orem, Utah-based Education Planning Services (EPS). The product, SMARTR, is a stand-alone software system comprising a map-creating program and a bus manager database to more effectively manage transportation systems. It allows the user to apply the software specifically to a school district and use local geographical information and other data. After acquiring SMARTR, Merced has seen rapid improvement. The program was installed and operational in less than a week, says Jewett. In addition to planning special needs transportation, the district uses the GIS for other responsibilities, including routing regular transportation. Use of the technology has allowed the district to cut costs by eliminating two buses. GIS systems also make it simple to answer questions from and make presentations to the school board.
Comments ( 0 )
More Stories

School Bus Driver Suspended After Bathroom Break to Keep Job

A New Jersey superintendent’s call to fire Gaye Kish for using her phone, having a friend board her bus, and taking a bathroom break during her route is rejected by the board of education. Kish cites a medical condition as the reason for taking the break.


Convertible Seating Solution

Blue Bird Corp. and HSM’s convertible NextGen seat allows the customer to change the seat back frame to have three-point belts or child restraints without having to purchase new seats.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!