Making the Switch to Routefinder PLUS
Livingstone Range School Division is located in Southern Alberta, Canada. The division has 3,600 students enrolled and 1,700 are transported to and from school. It is a very rural area with a population of fewer than 5,000 people and large distances between student
Making the Switch to Routefinder PLUS
Kristi Edwards is the Transportation Secretary for Livingstone Range School Division in Southern Alberta, Canada. She has been using Transfinder’s Routefinder Pro, Servicefinder and Tripfinder solutions and just recently began implementing Routefinder PLUS.
There were a variety of reasons Livingstone Range made the decision to switch to Transfinder’s web-based Routefinder PLUS, but the most important was having access to the routing information from anywhere there is a computer or Internet. As mentioned, Livingstone Range is very large and spread out over 3,000 square kilometers (1,900 miles). In the past, when Kristi needed to speak to drivers at their locations and make changes to the routes she was writing notes and then going back to the office to make changes. Kristi was doing twice the work. Today, Kristi can work from her laptop while going over the routes with drivers and make changes then and there, reducing misinformation and saving her valuable time.
Additionally, Routefinder PLUS offers greater capacity and ability. When asked about the features she liked most she said she liked the ease of geocoding and assigning students to routes and being able to quickly maneuver between the maps and data. In Canada, she said, they assign address differently than in the United States, so the ability to customize the map was very important to her. “It gives us the opportunity to work much more efficiently and quickly and I’m able to customize the maps to what I need to see.” Kristi was also impressed with the speed of Routefinder PLUS. “PLUS is absolutely faster. It takes less time to load and save and moves quickly between screens.”
Finally, Routefinder PLUS links to other Transfinder products more seamlessly, such as Tripfinder, Transfinder’s field trip management program. Additional products when owned become added apps visible in Routefinder PLUS making it easy to switch between programs. Tripfinder and Routefinder PLUS are interactive, communicating with one another, so she will be able to more effectively manage and keep track of her bus and driver availability for field trips. Tripfinder will also help the schools plan better by seeing what is available and when.
Livingstone Range went live with Routefinder PLUS in September. This year they looked at making efficiencies in their routing to help with their budget. With Routefinder PLUS she’s looking forward to using “what if” scenarios to see if she can reduce the number of routes and analyze the effects, such as bus capacity and ride times, without affecting her current routing plans.
Working with Transfinder
When speaking about Transfinder, Kristi said she enjoyed working with the company and how helpful everyone has been. Kristi’s project manager Vanessa was very responsive and quickly returned her calls and had no hesitation jumping into the program with her to provide help. “I love Transfinder… Everyone’s really helpful.”
In addition, Kristi attended the Transfinder University Livestream class, which was the first time she had used or seen Routefinder PLUS. When she found out she was taking the two-day online course for eight hours each day she said she “wasn’t looking forward to it. I’m not a big online training person. But it was actually really well done… Kristin and Kaitlin were fantastic.” Kristi was very impressed with the amount of information they got through and liked being able to do it in the two days, because “I could really work together with all of the features by the end of those two days. I was able to maneuver and play around in the program and get it ready. It was a pleasant surprise.”
When talking about the interaction during Transfinder University Livestream Kristi said “I wasn’t afraid to ask a question or felt like I was outside looking in. It helped that the group of people in the class were really interactive and we all had our cameras on and when there was something exciting to show us we celebrated… It made it a lot more fun and a lot more connected in this world where we’re feeling so disconnected.”