Students rely on campus transportation to get to and from classes safely. That’s why it’s so important to provide safe, reliable, and efficient ways of getting around campus. Maybe that includes fixed-route buses with critical schedules, demand responsive transit, or even point-to-point shuttle operations.
Regardless of the mode of transportation, you need fast and reliable data communication, vehicle monitoring, and reporting via campus transportation software. Learn the eight things your university needs to enable reliable, safe mobility on campus.
8 Things Universities Need to Enable On-Campus Mobility
Students have their bus passes and route schedules—they’re good to go, right? Not necessarily. While this duo allows passengers to get from dorm room to classroom, campus transportation software enables mobility in several different ways.
1. On-time performance
Transit holdups are frustrating, especially when you have somewhere to be—like at a class that starts at a specific time. “My bus was late” is about as convincing as “the dog ate my homework.”
Campus transportation software sets things straight for students who rely on transit. It tracks buses in real time, collecting data so you can automate and improve routing, scheduling, and on-time performance.
Ecolane creates virtual schedules based on best-case scenarios the day before each trip. Once the day begins, you must roll with the punches, and anything can change. Ecolane monitors vehicles in real-time, dynamically moving trips in response to changing conditions. Consider the following scenarios:
- If a vehicle is falling behind, Ecolane software distributes upcoming trips to alternative vehicles to maintain the desired schedule.
- If drivers are no-shows, Ecolane automatically updates schedules based on that event.
- If a trip is canceled, Ecolane automatically removes it from the schedule, attempting to fill the gap with trips from another vehicle’s manifest.
All automated and in real-time. The same-day optimization is a difference-maker.
2. Reliable Pickup and Arrival Updates
Is the bus delayed? Is it coming at all? Students don’t want to guess when (or if!) the bus will show up. GPS features built into campus transportation software monitor pickup and arrival, so students who take the bus can use their phones to check pickup times and travel time from Point A to Point B.
3. Quick Incident Handling, Rescheduling, or Rerouting
It’s raining, it’s pouring ... and suddenly traffic is moving at a snail’s pace. Bus transit can be impacted on the day of service by anything from accidents to weather to traffic, and you need to pivot to get passengers where they need to go. Campus transportation software tracks buses and generates incident alerts.
If your fleet is affected by unforeseen issues, you should be able to rely on software to streamline operations, relieving pressure to allow dispatch staff to provide quality customer service. Ecolane software stands apart because it automatically moves trips as needed without intervention, keeping vehicles on-time and efficient.
4. Better Communication with Passengers
Sometimes one-to-one is just better. For a more direct line with riders, you can deploy campus transportation features such as SMS messaging. This way, you can text updates to passengers and let them know exactly when their bus will pick them up. Students can grab a quick bite to eat and grab their bag with plenty of time to spare, helping them plan better.
Ecolane’s mobile app makes trip planning and booking a snap, enabling students to do everything in the palm of their hand. With built-in notifications to alert riders of ETAs, plus vehicle tracking with a visual map, the app increases productivity, streamlines efficiency, and provides outstanding client satisfaction.
5. Focused Drivers
When bus drivers can focus on the road, students can get to class quickly and safely. Effective software is a partner, not a distraction. The less drivers have to input manually, such as their driving route, the more they can focus on keeping passengers safe to and from campus.
Prevent your drivers from being distracted by campus transportation software while they’re driving. That’s why platforms such as Ecolane only allow software interactions when the vehicle is stopped,
6. Real-Time Reporting and Automatic Updates
You always need to be on top of what’s going on with your bus drivers. Luckily, there’s more than one way to get the details you need.
For one, with real-time reporting, dispatchers always know where drivers are so you never have to guess if they’re on time. But when you add in automatic updates, you unlock key insights into issues related to incidents, weather, and traffic congestion and can quickly make routing and scheduling decisions.
7. Automated Dispatching and Monitoring
Schedule a route, dispatch a route—lather, rinse, and repeat. The life of a dispatcher can be a bit lackluster, but when you automate, dispatchers can do more outside of scheduling.
Thanks to campus transportation software, your team can monitor and optimize:
- On-time performance
- Fuel costs
- Satisfaction rates
- Utilization and lifecycle of vehicles
8. Driver Behavior Monitoring
All the software in the world doesn’t add up to a hill of beans unless it keeps drivers in check. Behavior monitoring is a core component of campus transportation software, and it ensures that transit is reliable.
Benefits include the following:
- Real-time updates make drivers aware of their early or late status, increasing accountability.
- Dispatch alerts flag instances when drivers violate safety or other policies, such as adhering to speed limits.
- Camera solutions such as Ecolane’s EcoVision multi-camera solution ensure accurate data monitoring and combat poor driving behavior, immediately alerting you of road incidents.
It’s not exactly a piece of cake to get college students to and from class each day, but the right software makes it easier, from improving driver focus to optimizing communication and routes for passengers.
How can you facilitate safe and reliable student transit with campus transportation software? Download our whitepaper for additional tips, and reach out to get started with your software implementation.
About the Author
Read Ecolane's blog articles for perspective, opinion and information on transit and paratransit issues.