8 Best School Bus Routing Software to Automate Route Planning

keyKey Takeaways:
  • School bus routing software can aid with route optimization, fuel efficiency, and student safety.
  • Software for school bus routing should provide real-time updates, custom mappings, and vehicle tracking.
  • By lowering labor costs and increasing productivity, school bus routing software can also aid in cost-saving measures.
  • Schools should pick a software vendor with a strong reputation for customer service and system integration.

The market size for school bus routing software was evaluated to $973.3 million in 2022, and is forecasted to grow at a CAGR basis of 5.72%  by 2028. School bus routing software has revolutionized the way that districts plan school bus routes. 

The advent of sophisticated routing software solutions has helped school districts streamline processes and ensure that their students travel safely. Now that you have these solutions available at your fingertips, you don’t have to worry about the old ways of planning bus routes. In this blog, we have explained the significance of school bus routing software and how it works.

Why Do You Need School Bus Route Optimization Software?

School bus routing software is crucial for many reasons. Here are a few factors that make it important to have one for your organization:

  • Saves money: By giving the best routes considering weather and road conditions, it helps reduce fuel costs and save money on transportation.  
  • Improves efficiency: School bus routing software helps you create efficient routes that minimize travel time and improve productivity.
  • Enhances communication: The route optimization software for school buses provides real-time updates on bus locations and delays. This information can be shared with your staff, parents, and dispatch managers as well.
  • Ensures compliance: School districts need to comply with state and federal laws related to student transportation. The software helps ensure compliance by giving accurate, up-to-date information on routes and drivers.

8 Best Bus Route Planning Software

With the right software in place, you can create routes with turn by turn directions, optimize school transportation operation, and provide reliability for students. Here are the 8 school bus route planners to consider:

1. Upper Route Planner

Upper is the topmost route planning software solution that provides seamless bus routing solutions and scheduling options. Whether you have multiple schools or a single one to cater to, we have got the right optimization algorithm that fits all your routing needs.

With the “Excel Import” feature, you can add all the addresses directly from your CSV file and plan routes within seconds. The software finds routes based on traffic, weather, and other on-road conditions like one-way.

Moreover, Upper’s live driver tracking gives you assurance that the students are safely taken to-and-fro their schools. Your drivers can also add proofs in the form of photos, e-signatures and notes once their daily tasks are done. 

Features:

  • Excel import
  • Route planning 
  • Route optimization
  • Route scheduling
  • One-click dispatch
  • Proof of delivery 
  • API integration
  • Analytics and reports
Pros
  • Schedule bus routes in advance
  • Option to send instructions for drivers
  • Lets you monitor driver’s performance
  • Bus driver Live tracking
Cons
  • It doesn’t have street view

Schedule Your School Bus Routes on Upper Route Planner

Upgrade to a smarter route optimization software and automate your bus routing tasks using Upper. Now you can save time and ensure efficiency in your tasks at the same time!

2. School Bus Manager 

School Bus Manager is a transportation management software for a school district. It comes with bus routing, tracking, communication, and other features. The software offers a user-friendly experience and can be customized, thereby ensuring efficiency and safety of various school transportation operations. 

Once you import the student data and configure relevant parameters, you can create routes with stop times, turn-by-turn directions, and so on. It is web-based so no installation is required. You can also get training and support from the School Bus Manager’s team to get going with the software. 

Features:

  • Easy data import
  • Creates routes
  • Turn-by-turn directions
  • Attendance
  • Children info search
  • School section organization
Pros
  • Tracking information
  • Routing and navigation
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • No app for parents
  • Higher pricing

3. Samsara

Samsara for K-12 is a bus routing software that offers efficient and safe routing solutions to schools. It provides an end-to-end view of student transportation to schools with the help of real-time GPS, cloud-synced cameras, and other advanced features. 

The company analyzes bus routes using machine learning algorithms to create optimized routes that reduce the overall travel time. As a result, the schools can save money on fuel wastage and improve driver efficiency at the same time. 

The technology aids schools to provide accurate information about their children to parents, improve driver performance, and helps students get transportation.

Features:

  • Student tracking 
  • Real-time GPS
  • Real-time Video
  • School surveillance
  • Real-time vehicle maintenance
  • Routing
  • Navigation
Pros
  • Pre and post trip inspection
  • Student tracking with ID
  • Parent communication
Cons
  • Technical issues like crashes and bugs
  • No free trial

4. BusWhere 

BusWhere is another school bus routing software that comes with prominent features including real-time GPS tracking. Parents, school administrators, and transportation providers can also monitor bus locations to see the time taken at each stop in real time. 

You can stay updated regarding the bus locations, routes, and schedules with its mobile technology. Parents do not need to make frequent calls to check up on their children as they receive automatic notifications. 

Thus, BusWhere assures them that their kids are picked up and dropped off in a timely manner, thereby keeping parents and school management staff relaxed.

Features:

  • Monitor all the buses on one map
  • Data download in excel-friendly format
  • Instant ETA
  • Plan routes through ‘what-if’ scenarios
  • View historical ETAs for every stop
  • Parent notifications
Pros
  • Route planning and management
  • Easy installation
  • Immediate ETA
Cons
  • Limited functionalities
  • No cameras

5. Safe Fleet

Safe Fleet offers school bus transport solutions to enhance student safety and fleet efficiency. It comes with danger zone technology and school bus camera systems that ensure safe travel. 

The transportation providers can quickly make the required adjustments whenever there are delays or route changes with the help of automatic notifications. Thus, Safe Fleet ensures that any issues are resolved on time. 

Safe Fleet also offers real-time fleet tracking and route management systems so that school buses are running in a timely and safe manner. Moreover, they also provide bus inspection services to ensure efficiency and safety. 

Features:

  • Video surveillance
  • Live streaming
  • Smart safety systems
  • Manage and view videos
  • Connected Bus (integration)
  • Real-time fleet tracking 
  • Real-time student location
Pros
  • Student tracking
  • Routing and navigation
  • Live video streaming for student safety
Cons
  • Costing is a bit higher compared to other platforms
  • Doesn’t have free trial

6. Loqqat

Loqqat is a bus routing software that provides a variety of features for route optimization, planning, tools for student tracking, geocoding, and driver management. 

The mobile app lets parents and school administrators track the school bus locations in real-time and receive notifications for route changes, delays, and other issues. 

Additionally, Loqqat offers bus capacity management features to ensure that students are transported safely and buses are not overcrowded. With this software, you can easily track students’ status for departure and arrival on campus. 

Features:

  • Track school buses 
  • Check ETA 
  • Monitor students’ locations
  • Notifications during student boarding 
  • Design optimal routes
  • Route optimization
  • Live tracking 
  • Reports on driver compliance, student attendance trends, etc.
Pros
  • Status Tracking
  • Route optimization and scheduling
  • Parent portal
Cons
  • Pricing can be expensive
  • Not up to the mark user interface

7. BusPlanner

BusPlanner is another bus transportation management software. It aids schools to streamline routing, data administration, and other tasks. You can add bus stops, manage student information, and  review population data at one place. 

BusPlanner includes features including student tracking, driver management, and GPS tracking, ensuring safety and efficiency. Thus, they can remain assured about the proper transportation of students.

Moreover, transportation providers can create and change bus routes and schedules through BusPlanner tools provided for mapping and geocoding. The software provides automated  notifications for school administrators and parents. 

Features:

  • Route optimization 
  • Planning through “what-if” scenarios
  • Integrated analytical tools 
  • Efficient bus routes 
  • Connectivity with Student Information System (SIS)
Pros
  • Transfer BusPlanner data to other applications
  • Customer service
  • Efficient routing
Cons
  • Limited customization compared to other bus routing solutions
  • Limited management functionalities

8. Routefinder Pro by transfinder

Routefinder Pro by Transfinder is an intuitive platform for managing bus drivers, routes, and students for school bus fleets. Their ‘what-if’ scenarios and automated notifications serve as helpful tools in planning and scheduling.

Routefinder Pro also includes features such as driver management, GPS tracking, and student tracking, thereby allowing schools to enhance safety and productivity. 

Parent communication and student management help provide real-time updates about bus locations, schedules, and other useful information. 

Features:

  • Bus route, student, and driver management
  • Bus routes and pick-up locations 
  • Create and see “what if” scenarios
  • Integrate with student information systems
  • Check records of past routes 
  • Data import
Pros
  • Free trial available for 7 days
  • Import addresses at once through Excel
  • Save fuel costs and reduce manual work
Cons
  • Not fully user-friendly
  • Not responsive while generating reports at times

Features to Consider While Choosing School Bus Planner

To make a proper decision, it’s important to consider the primary features that help you to choose the best software. Here are a few features to consider when selecting a school bus routing software:

  • Routing and scheduling: Look for a solution that offers intelligent routing algorithms, easy-to-use tools, and easy planning with modifications of student schedule.
  • Real-time GPS tracking: Go for a bus planner that can be integrated with GPS devices and gives real-time tracking information. This will keep the school staff, and parents informed.
  • Communication and reporting tools: Communication and reporting tools are also vital to keep parents, transportation staff, and admins in loop about their students.
  • Mobile app: A mobile app school bus planner is another crucial factor in today’s digital world. It can be accessed anytime, anywhere.  
  • Integration with other systems: You must also consider a solution that can be seamlessly integrated with different school systems, including student information systems, and attendance tracking systems.

Give Your Route Planning Stress to Upper

Faster bus routes are just a few clicks away on Upper. Take full advantage of automated routing process and minimize your working hours to minutes.

FAQs

School bus routing and transportation planning is a complex process. It involves organizing safe and efficient routes so that students can reach their schools on time. It means gathering and processing a tremendous amount of data (total students, total buses, drivers) to generate the most optimal routes that reduce costs and time to a minimum.

Here are some steps that can be taken to ensure data privacy in bus route planning:

  • Implement proper data security measures such as firewalls and encryption
  • Limit data access to authorized personnel
  • Get prior consent from parents
  • Review and update privacy policies regularly

Google Maps helps you create school bus routes with the help of locations you include in your route. You can use Google Maps route planner by adding student pick-up and drop-off addresses and use the direction feature to create routes.

Conclusion

We understood that It is a complex task to create routes and monitor buses along with students. The best school bus routing software is one that aids schools in monitoring their students and ensuring that they are safe. Other than children’s safety, these software also lower costs and boost time-usage by finding optimal routes and vehicle maintenance.

Upper Route Planner will set you up for successful trip planning of your school buses as it helps automate all the processes. By helping you find optimize routes, it helps reduce your stress and expenses on fuel. With Upper’s advanced features, you get an all-in-one solution for your school buses. Start using Upper by taking a 7 days free trial.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel, author of two defining books on reverse geotagging, is a trusted authority in routing and logistics. His innovative solutions at Upper Route Planner have simplified logistics for businesses across the board. A thought leader in the field, Rakesh's insights are shaping the future of modern-day logistics, making him your go-to expert for all things route optimization. Read more.