Don’t accept the status quo: 2021 school transportation resolutions
Written by Aylin Cook
In a world where you can check your food delivery app to see where your dinner delivery is right at that moment, where you can track packages moving across the country, and where you can order pretty much anything straight from your smartphone, let’s stop accepting the status quo of alternative school transportation.
Let’s make this the year where school transportation staff work on reopening plans without having to work with partners who use outdated technology, don’t respond in time and create more work when time is precious.
While many of us are making resolutions, let us suggest a few specific to school transportation staff and their partnerships with alternative transportation solutions.
In 2021, stop accepting…
1. Not knowing where students and drivers are.
You can check exactly where your pizza delivery is, from pickup to dropoff. Why should your riders be any different? You should know when drivers leave, what time they’re arriving, where they’ll pick riders up, where your riders are, and when they’re dropped off. Nothing should come as a surprise.
2. Slow response times from your alternative transportation solutions.
Choose a solution you can call directly. Having to call multiple companies/people and wait for an answer on a missing or late student is not OK anymore. Vendors should have effective and efficient communication systems built in place and you should immediately be able to reach someone who can help you.
3. Out-of-date technology.
Why should you be dealing with slow, outdated technology when you have a million things to do? You should be able to add, edit and cancel rides yourself within minutes and track rides online. Technology should also allow you to communicate with drivers and automate updates for caregivers and parents.
4. A company which doesn’t guarantee rides.
You have enough to worry about without realizing that a student will be left stranded because a ride was cancelled. Or that you’ve booked a bunch of rides… which can’t be fulfilled. In 2021, don’t accept any partner which can’t guarantee that your students will get where they need to go.
5. Anything but the best possible COVID-Safe guidelines.
As schools begin to reopen, your focus should be on the logistics of your district’s ‘new ‘normal,’ whether that’s social distancing on the school bus, extra routes, hybrid schedules, and more. You shouldn’t be worried about your alternative transportation solution having lax COVID-19 safety rules, but should partner with a solution that sets safety-conscious, industry-leading guidelines… and follows them.
Welcome to 2021… let’s resolve together to stop accepting the school transportation status quo.
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