The Texas district recently moved its busHive Field Trip Software from a standalone app to the cloud
The transportation department at Texas’ Deer Park Independent School District (ISD) transports more than 3,000 students per day with a fleet of 110 buses. In addition to daily routing, the district coordinates transportation and drivers for field trips, competitions, and other extra-curricular activities.
Brendel Roark, trip specialist for Deer Park ISD’s transportation department, said the district requires advanced technology tools to efficiently coordinate its many field trips and personnel compliance.
“We have used busHive for field trips and driver compliance for more than a decade – ever since we had upgraded from paper, pencil, and spreadsheets,” she said. “Two years ago, when the district was exploring software upgrades and options, we ultimately decided that upgrading our current system was the best choice.”
The field trip software utilized by Deer Park ISD plans and manages online requests , trip history, blackout dates, driver rotations, dispatching and scheduling, trip itineraries, and invoicing workflow – integrated with driver compliance.
Moving to the Cloud
In 2019, the district opted to upgrade its system from a standalone app interface to a cloud-connected version of the field trip tool. While not a small undertaking, Roark said the upgrade ultimately meant a more powerful and user-friendly software experience for Deer Park ISD’s transportation department.
“Our department – accounting for more than 120 employees – provides drivers for field trips, as well as vehicles checked out by teachers for activities, competitions, and off-site training,” said Jeff Greene, director of transportation for Deer Park ISD. “It was clear to us that this upgrade to a more secure and user-friendly system was critical for our trip management capabilities.”
While onsite training was not required – because the transportation department was familiar with the software’s field trip features – Greene and Roark said that busHive remained in close contact via phone and electronic communications for troubleshooting.
“They were never further than a phone call away,” Greene said. “We had never upgraded our system since first purchasing the software, so their assistance was appreciated as we familiarized ourselves.”
Field Trip Management and Personnel Compliance
Today, Deer Park ISD uses busHive Field Trip Software to manage every vehicle not on a daily route – including field trips, athletic trips, or white fleet checkout.
Additionally, the district has had success using the system’s integrated personnel compliance tool. The software tracks federal and state requirements, driver infractions / incidents, absences, and tardiness, and allows Deer Park ISD to group personnel by function or responsibility.
“The software ensures that all our personnel have current licenses and certifications, and helps us complete physicals in a timely manner,” Greene said.
“Furthermore, using busHive allows us to complete certain tasks which we cannot do with other software,” Greene added. “For example, we sometimes have to split a field trip between two drivers. It might be that the trip starts in the morning but gets picked up in the afternoon. Or maybe we might need to use two different vehicles on a trip. The software is so simple and user-friendly in those situations, and it also incorporates our billing, staff rotations, and vehicle availabilities.”
Roark said that training new dispatchers and staff members on the system is a simple task because the software has a smooth learning curve.
“The software is very easy to pick up,” she said. “There were many changes to our original program because of this upgrade, but busHive made the transition as easy as possible for new users.”