Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central SD, NY

Upstate New York district increases safety, saves $400,000 a year with bus routing software.

Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central SD, NY

Transfinder’s Routefinder PLUS helps Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District, NY deal with its driver shortage.

Two years after upgrading its transportation platform, a rural K-12 district in upstate New York has been saving more than $400,000 a year by eliminating two routes and servicing previously outsourced ones. 

“We took on nine new schools with six fewer drivers based on the new information we had,” says Craig Lipps, director of transportation at Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District (RCS), about the upgrade to Routefinder PLUS from Transfinder.

“That’s the value of this platform. It helps you make informed financial decisions that allow you to keep your own people employed and your students safe. We were able to realize huge savings.”

Transfinder provides a variety of intelligent routing, scheduling and fleet maintenance solutions that optimize school transportation logistics, and districts can select which solutions they use based on their needs.

Addressing a driver shortage
At RCS, 1,600 of the K-12 district’s 1,900 students rely on school transportation. But a lingering bus driver shortage created a big problem for the transportation department, and the shortage worsened after the pandemic. Upgrading to Routefinder PLUS—an update to the initial Transfinder solution the district purchased in 2009 to replace its paper-based bus routing process—did far more than address the driver shortage.

“Since we’ve been using Routefinder PLUS, we have seen exponential service and safety improvements, and we’ve been able to meet the current demand within our own operation,” Lipps says.

By changing configurations on the cloud-based system, Lipps’ department eliminated two in-district routes by improving efficiency, and picked up routes for private and parochial schools and out-of-district placements, which were previously served by contractors.

Push notifications to parents
RCS is also using the Stopfinder app, which allows parents to have access to their child’s bus information and enables transportation staff members to send push notifications announcing delays or updated bus stop times. Once the GPS system is added, parents will get automatic updates that include bus arrival times, and notifications if their student is on board or missed the bus.

The next Transfinder component scheduled for implementation is Wayfinder, which features turn-by-turn directions and student photos to easily identify who should be getting on and off at each stop.

“We will be able to capture ridership data and use it to find additional efficiencies,” Lipps says. “With the frequent changes in communities, we are continually looking for opportunities to improve efficiency. This will make things easier by enabling us to look at what we are actually doing versus what was planned.”

This is particularly important in his district, Lipps says, because of how often students’ living situations—and therefore, their transportation needs—change. “Often we have students that end up residing outside of the boundaries of the district,” he says. “Routefinder PLUS allows us to see which drivers and vehicles are available, and we’re able to make informed decisions, minimizing the cost impact of any special transportation needs we have.”

Peace of mind
The upgraded software also prioritizes safety by ensuring bus routes include safe zones to minimize student crossings of busy roads or intersections, and automatically avoiding dangerous or impassable roadways.

“I am very pro-Transfinder because of how it improves safety,” Lipps says. “I sleep better knowing our kids are safe. Once Wayfinder is in place, our transportation service will be even safer than it is today.”

To learn more, go to Transfinder.com/routefinderplus, email getplus@transfinder.com or call 800-373-3609.