RSU 74 in Maine Utilizes Routefinder Pro and Realizes Immediate Savings of $25,000
Solution and Benefits
RSU 74 began using Transfinder in 2010, shortly after the State of Maine began offering it at no cost to the school districts. Prior to using Transfinder, Scott Lehay, Director of Transportation for RSU 74, had used another software solution, but only for its field trip component due to the poor quality of its maps.
Once the district was up and running with the Transfinder software, Scott found it very easy to use and could look at his bus runs. This gave him a clear picture of the redundancy in the routes and he could see where students could be shifted to reduce the number of runs he was making. In a rural district however, Scott also has to manage how long students are on the bus, so he balances efficiency and policy, to try to keep costs down while not having students ride the bus for too long.
To help make some initial significant changes to his runs for efficiency and cost savings, Scott used a draw and sequence tool in Routefinder Pro. Scott used the tool to draw a line around the area he wanted his bus run to cover, and then the software automatically sequenced the order for picking up the students, which resulted in eliminating two bus runs; an immediate savings of $25,000.
The district is also using ‘Infofinder le’ software for field trip management. This has helped the district to put the transportation data and reports in the hands of the district personnel. This has also enabled them to streamline the process of requesting, budgeting, approving and scheduling field trips all with the click of a button. This has resulted in significantly reducing the phone calls received by them requesting transportation information thereby reducing the interruption to the staff members thereby making them work more effectively.
Besides Routefinder Pro and Infofinder le, the RSU 74 is also using Infofinder i. Infofinder i provides the route and stop information to the district and community to look up bussing information. The parents can see their address on the map and the closest bus stop that serves them. In case of inclement weather and any unforeseen delay, the system sends out email notification to the parents and guardians.
Scott has had a great experience using the software, and in addition, hopes to eliminate another bus run this coming school year. The transportation staff at the district is happy with fewer phone calls and the parents like the total visibility provided to them by the School District.
RSU 74 is a small rural district that serves Anson, Embden, New Portland, North Anson, and Solon. The district transports 400 students to four schools within the district, and another school, which lies 40 miles outside the district.