Shelbyville Central Schools in Indiana is using Transfinder’s flagship routing solution, Routefinder Pro to help make bus stop locations safer for their transitional community and to reduce student pickups at intersections.
Located about 26 miles southeast of Indianapolis, the district provides full-day pre-school at all three elementary schools. In addition, the district has a middle school and high school that serve a population of 19,191 students. After using a competitor’s product for years, Shelbyville made the switch to Transfinder as part of their plan to accomplish a transportation overhaul to make safer stops for their students.
Bob Martin, Shelbyville’s transportation supervisor was introduced to Transfinder at a trade show in Indianapolis. After doing further investigation into the company’s product, Mr. Martin found he liked the use of GIS technology better, because he could be confident that the parcels of land he was looking at on the routing map were the exact locations of where students lived, ensuring the stop he placed them at was the right one. The other company couldn’t quite do that, and he wanted absolute control to ensure safety.
After successfully getting up and running in record time Bob shifted his focus to his other goal of creating safer bus stops. Prior to Transfinder, bus stops often had students at all four corners of busy intersections, so he wanted to take them out of the intersections and into the center of the blocks.
To increase their safety Bob is also working with city officials to see if permanent bus stop signs can be placed at the new stops, which would help drivers become accustomed to the stops and be more alert.
The permanent bus stops would be slightly smaller than traditional road signs. They would have the Shelbyville mascot, the Fighting Golden Bear, as well as a number. “When you move in and you’re in this house, you know definitively that this is going to be your bus stop,” Martin said. In addition, real estate agents and families already have access to Transfinder’s Infofinder i product, which shows where bus stops are for given areas as well as arrival and departure times. Each stop has already been determined to be the best stop for each given household.
“This is what we’re doing in our community to make our children safer at the bus stop,” Martin said. “We’re building that. That’s why we needed Transfinder so bad.”
Transfinder has been a critical solution for Shelbyville, which Martin describes as increasingly transient.
“We’ve got kids that are moving in all the time,” he said. Martin expected some 2,000 transportation changes in the first year of using Transfinder. He said Routefinder tools that allow for the creation of alternate sites are especially useful for his demographic. This is also helpful in dealing with more complicated housing situations where students may be staying with parents who may be divorced or where children may be picked up at home but dropped off at a grandparent’s, for example.
“Our demographic is transitional. We accept that. We embrace that,” Martin said. He said Infofinder le is another critical tool the district uses to keep all the stakeholders in the loop.
“How do you let the teacher know that this student goes to this person on this day? The driver has to know. The parents have to know. I have to know. We all have to be on the same page. That’s where the reporting feature within Routefinder Pro is tremendous, and Infofinder le has the information that teachers can get.”
All these tools are necessary to make students as safe as possible on their journeys to and from school. Martin said despite the size and color of your average school bus, they are invisible to drivers.
“Even though its 11 feet tall and 8 feet wide and yellow with flashing lights, it is the most invisible vehicle on the planet,” Martin quips.
More information on Transfinder solutions may be found here: www.transfinder.com/solutions.