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NAPT ACTS!® The Roadshow: School Bus Funding

ReaXium team in NAPT Event discussing school bus funding

Last week Edgar Zorilla (CEO) and Maria Riquezes (COO) traveled to Texas for a key meeting aimed at further providing value to the school transportation community.

Define your own success.

In Houston, we participated in the first edition of NAPT ACTS!® The Road Show: an intimate, issue-focused event, designed to align our professional insights through strategic conversations. NAPT understands that gone are the days of one-sided presentations at events! Together we created a space that allowed all attendees to be in the room and have a seat at the table where they shared their own experiences and learned from each other. For the first two days, the room entered into depth conversations regarding the future of vehicle design, propulsion, and telematics. In addition to reducing fuel costs, telematics allows fleet managers to reduce idle time, increase vehicle utilization, and lower insurance costs. School administrators, therefore, saw the potential savings and the increase in student safety with the use of Telematics in the long run. Furthermore, data-driven driver recruitment and retention was another hot topic given the current school bus driver shortage issue. Because K-12 transportation software can automatically schedule and log all trip details, drivers can be rewarded for specific key performance indicators, which encourages greater attention to detail and accuracy when performing their jobs. With better management processes in place, school bus operations will become more attractive to potential hires.

On Wednesday, Maria sat at the head table to be one of the main speakers that introduced the topic of changes in school transportation funding and financing. The room discussed our recent case study on how accurate ridership data means fairer funding for Florida’s school districts during the session! For this, we reviewed with the audience three districts’ approaches to investing in technologies that provide greater returns for our client districts’ funding, service, and safety. This experience allowed us to make the following takeaways:

  • The state of Florida needs to catch up with other states in terms of automating manual processes with the integration of new technologies. Florida school districts are just beginning to integrate GPS in buses when this has been implemented in other states for years, in addition to having student ridership tracking solutions already in place.

  • Although the vast majority of schools have barcode technology for student IDs because of the configuration of other school modules such as the library and cafeteria, the value and need to take student IDs to the next level of security with RFID technology was emphasized. This more secure and advanced technology also presents an opportunity for improvement for the aforementioned student services.

  • Pilots and customization of solutions are of vital importance for the development of projects. Each district has unique needs and the best way to identify them is with effective pilots and good communication between both parties.

  • Knowing when, where and which students are boarding and exiting the buses, as well as if they are boarding/exiting the right bus has promoted great peace of mind for those directors and drivers who had to deal with situations like this daily.

  • Hardware leasing is an innovative practice that transportation directors are only recently finding value in. As pioneers of having a managed service model, we understand that transportation directors do not have to be technology experts and should not have to worry about the specifications of their devices.

Finally, we would like to thank NAPT for this wonderful event that allowed us to share the stage with industry leaders such as Thomas Built Buses, College Station ISD, and SafeFleet. We strive for excellence and being in this room surely allowed us to share some of our expertise with the community.

Here are some pictures of the event!

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