Transparency through live GPS tracking
Written by Gabrielle Sias
While Global Positioning System (GPS) has existed in the transportation industry for over 50 years, recent innovations to this technology have allowed for further transparency and connectivity to solve one of the most common questions in the space: “Where is my rider?”
While many solutions exist with unique approaches to answering this question, transportation staff need to look at their individual requirements to ensure their needs are being met for their relevant use cases.
Below, we’ll dive into how HopSkipDrive uses GPS to increase transparency for school staff, parents and caregivers, and others involved in getting students safely to and from school.
How we use GPS at HopSkipDrive
One of the key problems we solve for at HopSkipDrive is the school bus driver shortage. We do this by sourcing and vetting highly qualified CareDrivers, who are responsible for providing their own vehicle to transport Riders in.
These CareDrivers must use HopSkipDrive’s CareDriver app (shown left) to access all ride information for each ride. By embedding in manual confirmation points — such as the CareDriver confirming they have picked up the student — and pairing this with the GPS coordinates, we’re able to provide real-time tracking and status updates on the location of a Rider. This location data is only available through:
RideIQ, our client solution
The HopSkipDrive caregiver app, available to caregivers, parents and school staff
Accompanying text (SMS) messages delivered to accounts with corresponding cellular numbers
Our GPS technology provides transparency for…
Caregivers and parents
During each ride, caregivers and/or parents who are attached to a Rider’s account will receive SMS/text messages (shown left) when a Rider is picked up and dropped off at each location.
Going back to HopSkipDrive’s roots of being founded by three moms, this step is critical to providing peace of mind for busy parents and caregivers without requiring them to log in to the app to follow the ride.
Building even more on our roots, we recognize that sometimes a deeper level of transparency is needed for a ride.
In instances like these, parents and caregivers can log in to the HopSkipDrive app to see where the Rider is along the route (as the image below shows), instead of having to reach out and get connected to the responsible school staff member.
School or district staff
School transportation and other staff members responsible for coordinating and/or managing rides can track a ride-in-progress in RideIQ or with the HopSkipDrive app.
Once the CareDriver checks in for the ride, school staff will be able to see if the ride is on schedule.
At each step of the ride, such as when the CareDriver is on their way and when they have arrived at pickup, staff will be able to see how ahead or behind the desired anchor time the CareDriver is.
Throughout the journey, staff can follow along on a map that shows the location of the Rider during the ride. For staff who are on the ground and unable to access a computer, the HopSkipDrive app can also be used to see the Rider’s location and anticipate the arrival or departure window.
This transparency allows staff to quickly answer questions from concerned caregivers/parents about a Rider’s location, and keeps the processes moving along in the correct order.
Ensuring the safety of each ride
We’re grateful that school transportation professionals, school districts and parents/caregivers select HopSkipDrive every day as a safe transportation solution for their Riders. We view this as a privilege, and our goal is to always deliver the best and safest ride experience possible — which is why we have a whole team that is focused on ensuring that each and every ride goes smoothly.
Using GPS data to determine the status and location of a ride, we’re able to immediately pinpoint any abnormalities of a ride’s progression. Our in-house Safe Ride Support team is always standing by to proactively solve any issues so the ride can continue smoothly for Riders.
By blending this human element with our innovative technology, we’re able to safely and reliably get Riders where they need to go, providing peace of mind for school staff as well as caregivers and parents.