Alternative student transportation providers help school districts ensure that every child gets access to the education they deserve. By using smaller-capacity vehicles, these transportation providers can accommodate the dynamic needs of students and serve children and youth on small routes, in hard-to-reach or remote areas, and those traveling between districts (just to name a few).
The combination of advanced technology and a dedicated team is key to safer student journeys. In addition, integrating technology into alternative student transportation services enables transportation providers and school districts to keep a closer eye on students and give parents peace of mind.
Enhancing Alternative Student Transportation with Technology
Technology should enable visibility into each student’s journey and improve trip management. By leveraging GPS data from apps used by drivers, online portals used by school districts and mobile apps accessed by parents, schools and guardians are able to track each student’s journey in real-time. District staff and parents can view estimated time of arrivals (ETAs) for their students that are based on the driver’s location and current traffic conditions. As an additional safety measure, parents also have access to the driver’s details and vehicle information.
Implement Strict Guidelines to Protect Every Student’s Well-Being
It is important for alternative student transportation providers to conduct strict background checks on drivers to ensure that they are fit to safely serve your students. At the very least, they should be expected to adhere to the same background checks as your district bus drivers.
While a zero-tolerance policy related to drug and alcohol use is a good first step, it’s not enough by itself. All drivers should also undergo mandatory drug and alcohol testing before providing services, when there is a report of reasonable suspicion, post-accident, and submit to random drug screening.
Tech + Team Is Key. Safety Is Critical
With the technology providing real-time student tracking for parents and district staff, and a local boots-on-the-ground team vetting drivers and vehicles, the commitment to safety is clear. These are things that should not be negotiable when determining which alternative student transportation provider you want to use to help supplement your buses.
As you continue (or begin) to consider using vehicles other than a bus to fulfil some of your needs, be sure you include all of the requirements you expect of the drivers and vehicles transporting your kids. Price should not preclude safety, and finding the right partner is a priority. At a minimum, any vendor offering alternative student transportation services should meet those standards listed above.
Learn More About Safe and Reliable Alternative School Transportation Services
EverDriven is the nation’s leading provider of alternative school transportation services. We’ve partnered with over 500 school districts in 26 states to help the most vulnerable students in our communities get to school.
Safety is our number one priority. We work hard to ensure safer student journeys to and from school by leveraging our propriety Smart Routing Technology. As part of our SafeRide Guidelines, EverSafe Drivers are required to successfully complete pre-service education and background checks before they work with students.
To learn more about how we can help you provide safe, consistent, and fully compliant alternative student transportation, visit everdriven.com.
Abi Studer is marketing manager for EverDriven. With a robust background in contract compliance and regulation subject matter expertise, Studer blends that experience into EverDrivcen’s marketing efforts. Her focus is to provide school districts across the country with actionable and relatable content to evolve their efforts with Special Needs students.