HopSkipDrive launches five new products to meet school district and student needs

Just in time for back to school, HopSkipDrive is announcing a series of new products and services built to meet the needs of school districts and their students. These new solutions — which include cutting-edge routing technology, new offerings to support the transportation of students with disabilities, and a new ride pooling solution — enable districts to scale their transportation services and solve challenges while serving students even better. 

“School transportation needs are rapidly growing, and years of experience working directly with districts showed us that other solutions on the market just aren’t keeping up with these growing demands,” said Joanna McFarland, Co-Founder and CEO of HopSkipDrive. “The way students get to and from school has an impact on everyone — students, teachers, school districts and our communities. These investments are meant to provide districts with additional resources to help them get all their students to school safely.”

HopSkipDrive’s newest solutions include:  

RouteWise AI™

HopSkipDrive’s most revolutionary product to date, RouteWise AI™ (formerly known as Strategic Routing) uses data science, machine learning, and cutting-edge technology to help school districts save time, optimize their budgets, and minimize the impact of bus driver shortages. Through RouteWise AI, school districts are paired with HopSkipDrive’s team of transportation analysts to develop a customized routing plan through analyzing a district’s existing vehicle mix and student base. Efficient routes for each student are created, maximizing the number of students on board according to the district’s specific needs. As a result, school buses can be utilized for the most high-ridership routes, leading to more effective transportation for all. 

This optimized routing package is delivered to a school district in a matter of days, saving transportation teams a significant amount of time and effort. Transportation teams can then customize their routing package according to their localized knowledge and expertise, made possible by the quick turnaround and saved time. Strategic Routing’s power extends to aiding district leaders in understanding how policy changes, like reducing carbon emissions, affect their transportation operations with just a click.

School districts can implement their routing plans seamlessly through their existing transportation system or RideIQ, HopSkipDrive's leading ride management system, which enables schools, school districts, government agencies and nonprofits to book and track rides on the HopSkipDrive platform. School districts interested in streamlining their transportation planning with RouteWise AI should contact HopSkipDrive to learn more. 


SmartPooling, available on the RideIQ ride management system, automatically matches new Riders with existing routes to reduce the cost and carbon footprint of every ride. Once the new ride is built, RideIQ can effortlessly search the client’s existing rides to determine which ones can be combined simply by clicking a button, showing potential ride options for the client to choose from. Each suggestion will provide important information about the pooling feature, including the number of Riders, and the adjusted pickup or drop-off time.

This will help school districts select the best ride for their students, and will support the shared goals of reducing transportation cost and climate impact. School districts that are interested in SmartPooling can contact HopSkipDrive to learn more about how to opt in.

Three enhanced services for students with disabilities

HopSkipDrive is proud to have enabled over 700,000 rides for students with disabilities and Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). We’re raising the bar even higher with several enhanced services for students with disabilities, designed specifically for school districts that rely on HopSkipDrive for supplemental school transportation.

The Primary CareDriver + program enhances the already safe, caring and consistent experience offered by HopSkipDrive by enabling school districts to opt in to a program that helps ensure students are paired with the same compassionate CareDriver even more frequently. All Riders using HopSkipDrive can expect a consistent ride experience; however, some students with disabilities benefit from even more consistency — and Primary CareDriver + will provide that.

Primary CareDriver + enables the same highly qualified CareDrivers to deliver an even higher level of service and consistency by providing at least 80% of an individual Rider’s rides. This program is currently piloting in select cities across California, Washington, Colorado and in Dallas, with intent to launch in more markets in the coming months.

The Rider Assistant program enables school districts to choose to book an extra adult through the HopSkipDrive platform to assist the Rider for the duration of the ride, a role many school districts refer to as a Monitor, Aid or Attendant. Rider Assistants must meet the same high standards set by HopSkipDrive to become a CareDriver, such as passing a fingerprint background check and having five or more years of caregiving experience.

While CareDrivers already provide support for Riders and are given educational resources during onboarding, adding a Rider Assistant can provide additional support to a Rider who needs it during a ride. This program is currently piloting in select cities across Texas and Pennsylvania, with intent to expand in the coming months. 

Our new customized experience for caregivers of students with disabilities offers enhanced onboarding and support. While HopSkipDrive gives all caregivers the opportunity to ensure their students’ needs are noted, caregivers of students with disabilities will experience an added layer of support. They will be given a direct line to speak to the HopSkipDrive team before their student’s first ride to help ensure all their needs are known and taken care of. Caregivers will also receive a message to download the HopSkipDrive Caregiver app so they can track their student’s ride, providing the same ease and peace of mind provided to all caregivers on our platform.

“HopSkipDrive has regularly led the industry in its use of innovative technology to meet students and schools where they are,” said Precious Young, Director of Special Education at Bellflower Unified School District in Bellflower, California, a HopSkipDrive partner. “We know students with disabilities often thrive in educational settings where consistent and predictable allies work with them to achieve their goals, and these enhanced services will enable that more than ever.”

Interested in learning more about HopSkipDrive’s non-routine student transportation solution?

Get A Quote