With over 3000 students and 20 schools, the Peace River School Division promises high-quality educational opportunities to its students. Within the community, around 69 bus drivers transport thousands of kids each day between school and home safely, helping students acquire the necessary education to succeed and prosper. The Peace River School Division counts on Titan GPS tracking solutions and its FieldDocs application to transport 2500 students under its wing across 72 bus routes, and ensure each child returns home safely to their caregivers at the end of the day.
Unfriending a User-Unfriendly Interface
Before Titan GPS, the Peace River School Division depended on another provider to help track bus fleets and manage student checklists, but it wasn’t user-friendly. Unfortunately, it could not provide the type of local customer specialization, customization, and visibility that Titan GPS has to offer. Their unfriendly document solution didn’t represent the division’s custom-made forms in the way the administration envisioned it. With factors such as costs and the need to upgrade coming into play, Titan GPS stood as a much better fit.
The transition from the previous provider to Titan GPS went fluidly, with systematic implementation of training procedures on small groups of drivers to prioritize the needs and concerns of each driver and ensure a coherent network of vehicle management. The district also conducted remote training by sending tablets out to bus drives and training them through Zoom. The intuitive interface made the introduction of Titan GPS easy to grasp for its users.
An Efficient Use
Between 106 school buses and around 12,000 square kilometers to cover, the Peace River School Division heavily utilizes Titan GPS tracking to review routes buses take while accurately determining the location of buses in real-time. Pinpointing an exact location of a bus instead of estimating a location based on a rough idea also helps locate and manage their fleet in a more timely manner, especially in times of a crisis. In the case of a mechanical issue of a bus where the vehicle may need maintenance or repairs, this function proves most useful. Oftentimes, the division also sends live bus-location links to concerned parents. In the case of a delayed bus, they reduce the chaos of back-and-forth phone calls and assure the safety of the children aboard.
However, there is one application that proves the most useful– FieldDocs.
The accessible and easy-to-use nature of FieldDocs’ interface makes the application trustworthy, and its users happy.
Any document that the district handled on paper has now become digitized with the help of FieldDocs. The division equips its drivers with tablets and access to FieldDocs to track students, manage fuel submission receipts, or any other document-related activity that needs to be digitized. The drivers through the tablet have access to data regarding historical pre trips, hours of service, and more. They can also access their emails to communicate with district transportation administrators and submit forms for time-off, which greatly benefits the drivers.
Merlin Lee, the Transportation Manager at Peace River School Division, uses FieldDocs to provide drivers access to all the resources they need to efficiently operate and hold accountability for their vehicles.
“We can push out all kinds of documents to our drivers on that- it’s insurance slips, pink cards, pretty much anything we want,” said Merlin.
The ease of using the interface made the application easily utilized and widely popular among the drivers as they now fill out and submit a form in a matter of minutes.
What made the application exceedingly valuable to the division is its customizable application database, which made the digitized forms look and function identically to the paper forms the district and drivers were used to managing. FieldDocs made it easier for drivers to “stick to what they know” and initiate an easy transition and a successful operation, exceeding their expectations, Merlin explained.
“The driver pulls up to the first stop, it’s got a couple of kids’ names who are getting on at that stop, they check the little box, hit the save button, and we can see that list in the office immediately,” simplifies Merlin.
Whether it be attendance forms, misconduct forms, other duties forms, bus shuttling forms, field trip forms, or others, each form is custom-made to the liking of the division and the expectations it has for the drivers operating its vehicles.
One type of form the division specifically benefits from is their pre-trip vehicle inspection forms. Any pre-trip forms that check the basic requirements of a fully-functioning bus can easily be shared with the division through FieldDocs, where drivers can save and submit the checklist to be reviewed by the district digitally. Drivers thoroughly go through the list and “pass” or “fail” each checked item, after which forms highlighting defects or “dirty” forms are promptly addressed, and those with no defects or “clean” forms are reported in the system.
Mechanics can then use the GPS services to locate and assist defective vehicles while maintaining compliant paperwork. The need for chasing drivers to obtain such reports was thereafter completely removed, making the documentation process timely and efficient.
Instant Access to Information
What was initially managed by weekly delivery drivers bringing in paperwork two to three weeks late is now being managed in real-time efficiently through FieldDocs. The school division loves having the burden of paperwork off their shoulders as their drivers can now “snap a picture” and send it electronically or “see it live” with the save button on the forms.
Heather Schramm, the Route Planner for the district, explained how one of their buses was recently disabled on the route, and the district was able to get live lists of the students on the bus while arranging alternative transportation for them. By designating specific buses for specific groups of students, the district is able to ensure that each student returns home safely.
“That was huge, it was a really big deal for us, especially when it comes to the safety of our kids,” Heather exclaimed.
Busplanner and Titan GPS Go Hand-In-Hand
The Peace River School District also utilizes Busplanner integrated with Titan GPS to provide precise and thorough reports and map overlays. Heather gushed about how both Titan GPS and Busplanner organized and consolidated their resources to enhance route optimization without much hard work from the district itself.
A report that especially benefits Heather is the comparison report about routes drivers take in the field versus their assigned ones. Analyzing historical routes and recommended routes side by side helps constantly develop better route plans while also making sure drivers are taking the routes they are assigned without traveling to restricted areas.
Going Above and Beyond
Titan GPS and FieldDocs provide the district with a cost-efficient, structured digital GPS and digital document solution that revolutionizes fleet tracking and management while also ensuring a satisfied driver. The longer the drivers utilize the software in the field, the “happier they are” with the product.
Since starting their pilot project with Titan GPS, they have received immediate and accessible support based on their current needs. Titan GPS’s team “never leaves them hanging” and consistently follows up with their client to ensure they receive unparalleled outcomes from their software utilization.
Merlin applauds the progressive nature of Titan GPS as well as its willingness to go the extra mile for its customers.
“If anyone asks us for a recommendation, I always recommend Titan and say, you know, talk to Titan and see what they have to offer because they will be able to meet your needs, whatever they may be,” said Merlin.