Pasco County Schools includes bus safety videos on its transportation web page that can be used by its schools during morning announcements.
Parents, students, bus drivers and transportation association members look to websites for quick, easy access to information relevant to pupil transportation. But how can industry associations, districts and contractors create websites that provide the information users want in an easy-to-navigate format?
SBF spoke with pupil transportation officials to find out what website practices have worked for them and their stakeholders.
Simple navigation is key
According to Tad Kledzik, supervisor of transportation maintenance at Pasco County (Fla.) Schools, it is important to consider your target audience when deciding what information to include on your website.
“The way we decided to organize [the Pasco County Schools transportation website] was, within the navigation, we tried to identify some of those key stakeholders that would be interested in the information we have to share,” he says.
The district’s website navigation includes sections for parents and students, district employees and those looking to apply for school bus driver positions. Users can click on the relevant group to reveal drop-down menu options (for instance, under “District Employees,” users will find information on field trips, school bus safety and more).
Derek Graham, state director of pupil transportation in North Carolina and member of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS), says that when NASDPTS revamped its website this year, the association chose to organize information by topic: vehicles, special programs and more.
Beach Transportation in Missoula, Mont., also revamped its website a year ago to make information easier to locate. For example, a “Current News” section was added to the site’s home page for quick access to new information.
“We made [the site] a lot more user friendly,” says Anne Davis, special-needs coordinator and marketing director for Beach Transportation. “Before, we had so many pages and so much information up on the website that it was hard for people to find specific information.”
Last summer, the Oregon Pupil Transportation Association (OPTA) chose to scrap its entire site and start from scratch: “The only thing that was saved was the website address,” says Chris Ellison, president of OPTA and transportation director at Greater Albany (Ore.) Public Schools. “Our previous website was difficult to navigate. We wanted [users] … to find information with no more than two to three clicks of the mouse.”