Photo by Mary Taylor
School transport has come a long way. From walking to school back in the day for many of us whose parents did not have a car, to using personal vehicles to drop children at school, and to school bus use. Today, we have a mix of all three with the school bus dominating the daily school commute in many schools in Kenya and around the world.
Using the school bus for transportation is one of the safest means of transportation for students. It is also the most affordable in terms of cost and time. In addition, the National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA) enforces safety regulations for operating school buses enforced in Kenya which makes it the most preferred. Parents also save time by using the school bus because of the predictable timing school buses maintain. In urban areas, it is the preferred mode of transport for parents as traffic congestion discourages many parents from personally dropping their children at school.
Technologies in school transport
Technology has come a long way in school transport safety and efficiency. The earliest safety measure on a vehicle was the seat belt which is now ubiquitous in all vehicles. The speed governor is another important technology which helps in regulating vehicle speed. Vehicle trackers ensure asset safety and determine the vehicle’s GPS location. These basic technologies are almost a requirement for all public motor vehicles today and school buses.
Use of technology in school transportation has evolved over time. The advent of semiconductor technology, portable computers and smartphones and the internet led to advent of new technologies. Schools are now using GPS technologies to map student routes. They are also deploying progressive applications for digital student identification. All these efforts are done to eliminate paperwork, saves on cost and time and to promote safety and efficiency.
Moreover, the process of student pick-up and drop-off has evolved. Mobile app technology in school transport is used like Uber today. The app is preloaded with student names and the parent’s contact. This facilitates efficient and real-time student pick-up and drop-off for the bus agents or minders. Parents in turn get real-time updates about their students in transit to and from school through app notifications or SMS.
The use of technology brings all the stakeholders together in ensuring child safety is a priority during student transit. For example, the school admin gets real-time access via a backend system about what is happening during school transport. Using the Bunifu Go app, parents can track the school bus and receive notifications when the bus is near. This gives the parent and the student adequate time to prepare. It also eliminates wait time helping the student avoid harsh weather conditions e.g. hot sun, dust and rain.
Other important pain points the system solves include billing issues by providing credible data per student transport usage. School attendance is also made possible with gate check-in and checkout working with the school transport system. Driver behaviour is another important aspect of efficiency and safety in school transport. With sophisticated tracking technology, it is possible to capture data such as speeding, harsh cornering, unnecessary stops, change of route etc.
In conclusion, schools can’t ignore technology in school transport today and in the future. Technology will continue to play a pivotal role in ensuring safety and efficiency in school transport. At Bunifu, our commitment is to help as many schools as possible to improve safety and efficiency in their School Transport. We created Bunifu Go purposefully to help your school. Get in touch with us today at +254 758 59 29 49 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org