White Bear Lake Area Schools Upgrades Trip and Payroll Management

As the director of transportation for White Bear Lake Area Schools, in in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, Mike Turitto is responsible for a district transportation department running approximately 100 daily routes and serving over 3,400 bus stop locations within a 45 square mile district.

Between 12 different schools, Turitto’s department runs hundreds of trips in an average school year, including field trips, athletics, and various other student activities.

With a consistently high volume of ridership and unpredictable spring weather, managing school trips with handwritten bookkeeping and dated routing software was no longer effective for Turitto and his team.

“Because it has been one of the snowiest years there have been several last-minute changes and cancellations,” Turitto said. “We were constantly trying to juggle everything by hand, and it just got to be too much. On top of that, many of our departments were short staffed and we needed to have a system that would be able to keep things straight and help track costs. We needed to streamline and have an efficient approval process in place and busHive was able to do all of that for us.”

After hearing positive feedback from other district’s transportation departments who had experience with busHive, White Bear Lake decided it was time for an upgrade.

busHive develops technology to streamline workflows and recordkeeping across the entire trip process. The company’s trip management platform manages online request forms, approval paths and scheduling to help schools handle a normally complex, manual process.

The trip technology improves communication between teachers, principals and the school’s transportation department with real time email notifications. It also shows transportation departments essential information such as driver/vehicle availability, driver rotations and turndowns.

After purchasing the software, district employees underwent a training period where busHive personnel met with staff to coordinate training activities, walk users through the system, and help manage initial input of trips.

“It was really, really simple,” Turitto said. “busHive was more than willing to sit down one on one if anyone needed additional help. If we ever needed something changed, they were there to walk us through it. They did a lot of the work to help us build the back side and train us so that we would be proficient users going forward.”

After completing the training process, Turitto and his colleagues in the accounting department were eager to begin utilizing the software. 

“One of the first things that we did was to connect with our accounting department and clean up the financial side of things and the account codes that were all over the place,” Turitto said. “Instead of having 300 account codes out there, we streamlined the whole process. It was really easy. It probably took us all in all maybe about a week.”

Between the trip software and payroll management, Turitto said that staff across the board are reaping the benefits. 

“The detail-oriented reports have helped a lot when it comes to planning trips for our teachers and coaches,” Turitto said. “The trip sheets for our drivers have been great. The whole process holds everyone accountable to time and location. Everything is recorded and we can more accurately calculate mileage and cost. We have been really thrilled with the busHive experience.”