by Ken Fisher | Jun 14, 2021 |
The impact of driver shortages was thrust into the public eye when the COVID-19 pandemic forced transportation departments to manage meal delivery, critical route changes, and even wi-fi provisions, but most transportation department employees will tell you that challenges with shortages existed before the pandemic, too.
Pre-pandemic, the National Association of Pupil Transportation surveyed school transportation professionals, with 87% of respondents agreeing that the bus driver shortage was a major problem. In addition, a 2018 School Bus Fleet survey indicates that 91% of districts report issues with bus staffing.
Many drivers and transportation department staff chose to roll with the tough times. However, driver shortages stretch to the hundreds in some districts as drivers leave to protect their own health, take care of family members, or retire.
If driver shortages persist into the school year, better route management will help reduce the possibility of bus delays. Even minor changes in routes can cause a cascading effect of buses running behind schedule. The Travel Tracker Routing Software evaluates existing routes and makes suggested efficiency changes or allows users to evaluate various scenarios to determine how to best utilize the staff and buses available.
Shifting routes, drivers, and schedules correlate directly with an increase in communications to and from parents. Additionally, new routes and school administration changes create more communication needs between central operations and drivers.
Parents and schools dealt with adjustments to new processes throughout 2020 together. But with schools returning to post-pandemic normalcy, transportation departments that are hesitant to adapt are on the hot seat.
A modern solution like Travel Tracker Routing enables simple, automated communication with parents. Transportation staff can reach parents faster to explain any potential changes, such as new or modified routes or why a new or different driver picks up their student.
A friendly K-12 software provider understands the shifting needs of school districts. Included with any software license is unlimited support from a live team of people who can help you solve issues, train new staff, and learn new skills in your software – without incurring extra costs.